£8.6 million renewable energy plans discussed to overhaul Sark's 'outdated' network

Sark is looking to rely less on external energy sources to improve the reliability of its electricity supply. Credit: PA and ITV Channel

Around a fifth of Sark's population have met to discuss major plans for a new energy network.

The £8.6 million proposals, which could be funded by a private investment firm or a Guernsey States loan, are in the early stages of development but it is hoped that a move to local and renewable energy sources will provide a cheaper and more reliable long-term supply.

The head of Sark's Policy and Finance Committee, Conseiller John Guille, Jake Bunyeat from Communities for Renewables CIC and Shane Lynch, who is the island's electricity price controller, met with residents at the Island Hall on Wednesday 10 January.

Sark used to be the most expensive place in the world for electricity at 85p per unit.

That price has since more than halved but it is still well above Jersey, Guernsey and the UK.

Mr Bunyeat explained: "Something has to happen as the existing system has been declared way past its life.

"The primary driver is economics, it will be cheaper to power the island from wind and solar than it will be from diesel only.

"The world is going towards renewables and if Sark can get it on this then it will take one leap that has taken the rest of the world 30 or 40 years to do."

If the plans go ahead, Sark will become the first of the Channel Islands to use wind turbines.

In terms of the next steps, Conseiller Guile added: "We'll be asking the assembly to approve the design phase of this project."

That is expected to cost £175,000 and take until June if approved, with a vote due at the next Chief Pleas meeting on Wednesday 17 January.