Alderney moves forward with tidal energy

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Gary Burgess reports.

Plans to harness enough energy from waters off Alderney to power more than three million homes have moved a step closer.

Officials from the island have met counterparts from France to push forward their tidal energy ambitions.

The first offshore generation is expected later this year.

Francois Piquet of West Normandy Marine Energy said: "This tidal energy can take place here, in France and in Alderney because there is between our two countries a current, a very strong current, that allows the possibility to exploit about six gigawatts of energy."

The eventual plan is to install a cable link to the UK, so Alderney and France can sell the electricity there.

All of which risks Guernsey and Jersey looking like they lost the race for renewables.

But both are working up plans of their own.

Research in Guernsey's concluded the Bailiwicks’ waters are potentially commercially exploitable.

And here in Jersey, there's already a clear front-runner to harvest the power of the sea - tidal stream turbines.

They sit under the water. And they've been described by Jersey's Environment Department as being one of the best routes to exploit the island's natural energy resources in the long term.

But while the larger Channel Islands are talking years, perhaps decades, from now, Alderney and France say the first small scale generation could begin this year. They say there's a moral imperative to take action.

Jean-Francois Le Grand of General Conseil de la Manche said: "If we don't do that, in the future our children will be able to say you have not done your duty."

All of which sounds terribly noble, but they also know if they get it right, there's potential profit to be made from all this tidal energy.

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Underwater cables on sea bed Report Abuse
Posted By: Philip Cranford-Smith on 23-May-2013
Many years ago, I was told by Alderney Electricity that cables must be armoured against erosion on sea bed. Has a different type of armouring been developed and will it be man enough for the job?

Tidal Energy Report Abuse
Posted By: islandgirl on 07-May-2013
There has always been a lot of talking about this ARE but nothing ever seems to get done.

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