The headline results of the Future Jersey 2017 – 2037 document under the section, ‘what do Islanders want to see most change into the future?’ set out the following as concerns and aspirations of Islanders who took part in the Survey.
- Jersey has secure, affordable and sustainable energy;
- Jersey is managing the threats posed by climate change;
- Islanders independently affording a decent standard of living.
[URL to survey results link: https://shapingourfuture.gov.je/my-jersey-survey/headline-results/]
Asa States Member I have championed renewable energy and green initiatives. I secured funding in a past budget to kick-start the Eastern Cycle Network and introduced a Planning policy to require a contribution to the cycle network to be made with permission over a certain number. The Eastern Cycle Network is progressing far more slowly than I would like but the measures are in place to provide for its construction.
A couple of years ago, I provided each Constable with an A0 map of their parish roads and requested that they, and their Roads Committees identify roads in their Parishes suitable for cyclists and pedestrians to take priority, in the hope they would provide safe routes to parish hubs, schools and into St Helier.
I supported free bus travel for under 19 year olds and through-fares on buses in an attempt to encourage bus travel and set the use of public transport habits from a young age.
I will support incentives to encourage fuel switches in transport and homes and better insulation installations in buildings. I will not support agricultural fields being used for solar panels – these need to be installed on roof tops at every given opportunity.
In 2017 I became very concerned at an announcement by Jersey Electricity Company to instigate a charge on the Commercial renewable energy sector, which had the potential to destroy any independent commercial investment in renewables and could destroy jobs in that industry and fledgling businesses in that area in the island (i.e. installing solar panels/wind turbines).
They currently import the majority of our electricity from France which post-Brexit, puts us in a vulnerable position. Renewable Energy is now becoming economically viable. There is significant investment occurring across the world which is creating jobs and has the potential to reduce the cost of energy in the future.
The JEC is 63% owned by the States of Jersey, but no one from the States sits on the board of directors representing the islands best and wider interests, although the Treasury represents the States of Jersey shareholding element. The remaining 37% is owned by private investors. It is therefore a profit making publicly listed company.
The energy market in Jersey is unregulated and the JEC are the sole supplier of electricity in Jersey and have, complete control of the electricity grid through their main company or a subsidiary. The Electricity (Jersey) Law 1937 historically provided the States of Jersey with the ability to monitor and control the price of electricity in Jersey prior to the listing of the JEC.
As technology advances I would like to see renewables encouraged with the JEC and other providers who are willing to invest into the industry. We must work with our other Channel Islands and France to do what is best to provide clean energy at a competitive price.