A third of electricity consumed in Jersey is already renewable
People often ask about tidal and wind power without realising that a third of the electricity we import is already renewable hydropower. That’s over 200 million units a year – enough to power 30,000 homes using an average 7,300 units. And it costs a lot less than we could produce tidal or wind power.
This renewable hydropower in generated at La Rance Tidal Barrage in nearby Brittany. We know this because it is certified by Guarantees of Origin that authenticate where the electricity comes from and it means our supplier EDF cannot sell that portion of electricity to anyone else.
We are bringing local renewables on to the grid with solar PV power. By February 2021, we were generating almost one million units a year of local solar power and this is increasing all the time.
Our challenge with solar is to find ways of making energy cheaper than imported power and that is a key focus of our projects.
We have explored various tidal power technologies but at the moment the costs to build and maintain these installations ourselves would result in significant increases in electricity prices for our customers.
Offshore wind costs are coming down off the back of ever-improving technologies and we continue to monitor and analyse these closely. We feel tidal and wind will play a part in Jersey’s energy mix in the future but for now, we believe solar is the best local renewable option.
A million units of on-Island solar power a year and counting
We realise Islanders want more energy independence by generating local renewable power and we are committed to developing it.
For now, we believe solar PV is the most cost-effective option for Jersey (albeit still more expensive than imported renewables) and, in partnership with local businesses and farmers, we are bringing it on to the grid in increasing volumes.
By February 2021 we had installed four commercial-scale solar PV rooftop arrays, including the largest in the Channel Islands at Jersey Dairy. With a combined capacity to generate 989,000 kWhs (units) a year for at least 25 years, they can power around 135 Jersey homes a year – and we have many more installations in planning.
When combined with 5% from the Energy from Waste Plant and the fraction from on-Island generation during testing, our electricity was just 24g CO2e/kWh in 2019/20. That’s an amazing one-tenth of the emissions of the UK electricity supply at 233g CO2e/kWh*.
When compared with local LPG gas at 241g CO2e/kWh** and heating oil at 298g CO2e/kWh,** you can really see how much cleaner electricity is than fossil fuels. This has helped Jersey dramatically reduce its carbon emissions already.
*Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greenhouse Gas Reporting – Conversion Factors 2020
**Building Bye-Laws (Jersey) Technical Guidance Document 11.1B 2016
Do you know how clean your electricity is?
And just what ‘clean energy’ means?
Well, it’s some of the cleanest in Europe. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted when energy is produced is measured by its carbon intensity or the ‘carbon dioxide equivalent per unit of energy’ - CO2e/kWh.
Around 95% of electricity consumed in Jersey is either imported renewable hydropower at just 6g CO2e/kWh or nuclear at 4g CO2e/kWh.