Contract move will carry a risk

IT HAS been much trumpeted that Guernsey – so far at least – has been able to stay fairly remote from the huge hikes in energy costs being seen elsewhere, particularly the UK, because of the war in Ukraine.

Hedging the power station's diesel costs, and the reliability of the cable link contract with Electricite de France keep the island relatively well insulated.

That may all be about to change – maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. The States’ Trading Supervisory Board says the States could stand to make a windfall profit if the French energy provider, under pressure to meet supply demands across the country, seeks to buy its way out of the Channel Islands contract.

But such a move is going to leave Guernsey generating on-island – which it is capable of doing, although it would inevitably leave the island’s green credentials and Paris Agreement targets in a difficult position, to say the least. It’s unlikely that such a move would force our hand more rapidly into greener generation of electricity.

If the cable link contract does come to an end, what price its reestablishment? No wonder STSB and Guernsey Electricity are not saying too much, beyond the fact that negotiations are at a delicate stage.

Whatever the attractions of a windfall, the end of this contract unless a future deal can be assured, would be a dangerous and seriously risky move.

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