HAVE YOU IDENTIFIED ANY POTENTIAL LEGAL CHALLENGE TO DEVELOPMENT?
RET has worked to ensure that there has been engagement with all relevant and interested parties, both locally and in the UK. The aim is to continue as openly as possible to get the legal framework in place and then to follow best practice to ensure that installations are carried out with all relevant reports and surveys. The renaming of shadow GREC to RET was undertaken in part to remove the suggestibility that actions undertaken by shadow GREC could influence GREC once constituted. GREC is to be an independent body, and there are currently no plans from the constitutes of RET to sit on GREC.
RET would be happy to hear from any party or persons that feel they should be consulted in the future, please contact us here.
WHY ARE GUERNSEY AND SARK WORKING TOGETHER ON TIDAL DEVELOPMENT, BUT WORKING ON SEPARATE LEGISLATIONS?
Guernsey and Sark are working closely together on marine renewable energy as, besides sharing a considerable resource in the Big Russel, it is hoped that cooperation will benefit both jurisdictions. As part of this Guernsey and Sark are working together on the legislation, however as they are different jurisdictions they have to have separate laws passed by the respective government. The laws and underlying legislation are substantially similar in order that there should not in the future be a problem for developers looking to deploy in the Bug Russel.
WHAT IS THE LIKELY TIMEFRAME FOR THE PROGRESSION OF THE GUERNSEY AND SARK LEGISLATION?
Secondary legislation was approved in 2015. The plan is to hold off enacting the law, as enacting the law would require the setting up of a commission, until the islands and the industry are ready and there is a renewable industry to “regulate”. For wave and tidal the technology on a commercial scale is s likely to be a number of years away – some single units have been deployed and there are plans for multiple units. However, it is likely to be towards the end of this decade before commercial scale projects of greater than 10MW will be available. Guernsey should be ready to take advantage of this time scale.
Offshore wind technology is likely to be viable in Guernsey although further tests are being carried out. It is then a question of how acceptable such turbines would be to the Guernsey public – a subject which RET is addressing - as well as the economic realities that offshore wind is currently more expensive than traditionally sourced energy. The law can be enacted at the discretion of Guernsey so Guernsey can be ready in time.
GUERNSEY IS RESTRAINED BY THE 3 MILE TERRITORIAL LIMIT, ARE THEY RESTRAINED BY THE SAME LIMITS IN THE UK AND OTHER JURISDICTIONS?
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is fairly unique in that its territorial seas are 3 nautical miles currently, with most jurisdictions having 12 nautical miles of territorial seas out to a median line with any other jurisdiction. Within the 12 nautical miles a jurisdiction has a right manage to the seabed and the waters. For most jurisdictions, the UK included, there is also a 200 nautical mile zone that can be used for the economic use of the jurisdiction. This is either to 200nm or to a median line, as with the territorial seas. This zone has traditionally been used for the exploitation of gas and oil reserves, such as in the North Sea, but now they also offer the future potential for far offshore wind and wave arrays.
There are plans to extend Guernsey’s territorial seas to 12 miles.
HOW WOULD GUERNSEY GO ABOUT GETTING ACCESS TO WATERS FURTHER OUT?
The States of Guernsey is currently investigating extending territorial seas out to 12 nautical miles. The first stage of this is bringing in a fisheries management agreement (FMA) with the Islands in the Bailiwick and the agreement of the devolved governments – which was agreed and signed in autumn 2011. Once this is in place it is likely Guernsey will look to extend the territorial seas to 12nm from 3nm. It is unlikely that Guernsey would be able to extend its limit any further out than 12nm.
HOW DOES THE BRITISH OWNING THE SEABED AFFECT GUERNSEY’S ABILITY TO LICENCE AND LEASE A POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT?
Because the British Crown own the seabed Guernsey must lease the seabed from the Crown prior to being able to lease and licence a site to a developer. RET have investigated whether this will be possible and, it is understood that as long as there is the relevant legislation (and licensing) in place, the Crown should lease the seabed to Guernsey for Guernsey’s benefit in return for a nominal rent. This would be undertaken prior to going out to tender so as developers will not be affected by any negotiations with the Crown.
Does the Crown have the right to veto a development once a
lease is issued?
Once the Crown has issued a lease to Guernsey they should not have the right of veto over how GREC will sublease to developers, either with regards to the terms of the lease or to whom GREC may lease.
Is the lease going to be free from the crown?
The lease will not be free from the crown, but it is likely to only be a very low / negligible rate.
- 01/08/2016 - Congratulations to Bouke Wiersma on completion of his Public Engagement PhD in Guernsey
- 21/07/2016 - Working with Universities – Update
- 01/05/2016 - Renewable energy work under new Committee
- 19/04/2016 - RET open Day at Beau Sejour
- Commerce and Employment Renewable Energy Team to undertake Open Day and associated Poster Display
- 01/01/16 - RET releases 2016 strategy and review of 2015
- 23/11/15 - Consultants Appointed for Offshore Wind Work
- November 12th & 13th - University of Exeter Festival of Social Science: Visualising public engagement with marine renewable energies
- 30/10/15 - Renewable Energy Legislation Passed
- 14/10/15 CIMREG Officers Meeting Held in Guernsey
- 08/09/2015 - Commerce and Employment and Guernsey Electricity Limited continue feasibility work into local offshore wind energy project
- 01/08/2015 - RET Continue to Work with Universities
- 30/06/2015 - Results from Island Wide Survey on Offshore Renewable Energy Shows Strong Support for Renewables
- 18/06/2015 - RET release renewable energy ordinance response document
- 20/05/2015 - Thetis EMR conference
- 21/04/2015 - Channel Islands Marine Renewable Energy Group Political Summit
- 28/01/2015 - Public Engagement PhD - Guernsey Opinion Survey: Renewable Energy
- 21/01/2015 - Consultation on Renewable Energy Ordinance Closes
- 30/11/2014 - Public Engagement PhD completes second of three studies
- 19/11/2014 - RET Release Updated Strategy and Review of 2014