Situated in the Bay of St Malo off the west coast of Normandy facing the Atlantic Ocean and with some of the strongest tidal currents in the world, the Bailiwick of Guernsey is well positioned to be a major contributor to the emerging marine renewable energy market and meeting the needs of the 21st century.


Location and Islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

The Bailiwick consists of Guernsey, the largest island (including Herm), Sark and Alderney and they are all governed independently both from the UK and from each other. General information on Guernsey can be found on the States of Guernsey website www.gov.gg, information on Sark is available at www.gov.sark.gg and on Alderney at www.alderney.gov.gg.

Guernsey and Sark are some 80 miles south of the UK mainland and only around 30 miles from the European continent. Guernsey is connected to the European Electricity Grid through a submarine cable link (via Jersey) into the Cotentin peninsular, due east of Jersey.

The islands are looking to exploit the natural resources in the waters of the Bailiwick by exploring the possibility of marine renewable energy. Guernsey and Sark are working together on the potential exploitation of their adjoining territorial waters. Guernsey is also individually looking at all of the options available in its waters for the development of tidal, wave and wind energy. Alderney is working independently on the potential exploitation of their waters and information on Alderney’s programme can be found at www.acre.gov.gg.

The States of Guernsey, the Island’s government, has recognised the potential of marine renewable energy to both meet local renewable energy targets and also the potential to generate exports to assist other jurisdictions to meet their targets. It has agreed a programme that includes:

  • (a) Preparing the necessary legislation which will enable Guernsey to take advantage of wind, wave and tidal power opportunities as and when they arise;

  • (b) Closely monitoring wind, wave and tidal power technologies and opportunities; 

  • (c) Encouraging, promoting and facilitating wind, wave and tidal power opportunities; and

  • (d) Establishing a Guernsey Renewable Energy Commission responsible for promoting and licensing marine macro-renewable energy projects within Guernsey.

In October 2010 the States approved the Renewable Energy (Guernsey) Law, 2010. This primary enabling legislation will provide for the establishment of the Guernsey Renewable Energy Commission (GREC) as an independent statutory body and the framework for the licensing of marine renewable energy devices to be installed within the Island’s territorial seas.

The Renewable Energy (Guernsey) Law 2010

Commerce and Employment is the States of Guernsey Department responsible for the marine renewable energy programme. The programme has been driven by the Renewable Energy Team (RET).

With the completion of secondary legislation for the licensing of offshore renewable energy, passed by the States in October 2015 RET is now focused on the development of the commercial processes for the lease of blocks of the sea bed to marine renewable energy operators.

Renewable Energy (Guernsey) Ordinance 2015

The RET has completed or is continuing to work on a number of work streams to further broaden their knowledge base and guided the States of Guernsey in an informed direction. A number of headline projects are described:

The completion of a PhD study into stakeholder engagement with offshore renewables has helped RET understand public perception and opinion in regard to projects and the technology.

RET continues investigations into offshore wind through a feasibility study, in co-operation with Guernsey Electricity Ltd., which will further understanding into areas such as imported electricity prices; possible sites for a project; strategy for further resource analysis; further stakeholder engagement; potential project owners and more detailed research into project economics.

RET seeks to understand economic, social and environmental uses of the Island's waters through the development of a Marine Atlas.

RET is progressing understanding of the marine environment around Guernsey Herm and Sark, including further studies including the Benthic Survey Report.

We aim to provide up to date information on what is going on in Guernsey regarding renewable energy on this website, so please visit the site again soon. For any further information or if you would like to comment on the work we are undertaking in Guernsey, or just wish to make contact, please feel free to contact us here.