ENERGY SUPPLY - please comment to add your ideas

Please comment with your climate change ideas/feedback on Energy Supply,  here are some ideas for actions you might want to consider; 

  • Investigating ways of transitioning from the need for fossil fuels.
  • Exploring reliable, resilient, robust and clean electricity and energy supplies using our natural assets and geographical position.
  • Protecting our natural environment while developing sustainability, maintaining necessary structures and developing international partnerships.

Why the contribution is important

Your opinion counts

by SaraIOMGov on September 19, 2019 at 11:49AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.0
Based on: 1 vote


  • Posted by ianpilbeam September 20, 2019 at 08:46

    Tidal power please we have the tides so why not use them.
  • Posted by Scryer September 20, 2019 at 11:50

    Agree that we should be utilising tidal power. We should also allow residents to build a small wind turbine on their property is they wish. Currently, I believe plannimg permission is needed and often it gets rejected as it would "spoil the view". But I am of the opinion that this is not a good enough reason for rejection. The world will be spoiled if we don't act now to male changes.
  • Posted by McBain September 20, 2019 at 14:17

    1. Examine some of the sections in the Electricity Act 1996 as these could act as major disincentives to third party investment in renewable technologies on the Isle, e.g. the requirement for a separate consent to construct and operate from the Department of Infrastructure on top of planning permission, which can subsequently be revoked or amended by the Department without any recompense to the third party.
    2. Recognize that near-shore seabed fracking is fundamentally incompatible with climate change objectives and so should not be considered as an 'option' for the Isle.
    3. Actually commit to DO SOMETHING rather than forming "working parties" to academically assess issues, present options for discussions to the politicians who then agonize about what to do for so long that eventually it's a new electoral cycle.
  • Posted by NettyH September 20, 2019 at 18:59

    I believe that properties in the Isle of Man should be able to take advantage of solar panels no matter what category of property. Planning restrictions should be lifted for such things.
  • Posted by Malcolm September 21, 2019 at 16:15

    I strongly believe that the ‘biggest game changer’ that the Island can do and achieve quickly is to ensure that the main source of electricity is generated by renewables. It is my opinion that this should be by onshore windfarms. To provide the Islands electric capacity would mean an initial investment of 200 million which would however on a 25 year life expectancy mean a unit cost of about 8p against the 16p current cost. No need to retrofit all the housing stock for energy efficiency or the installation of solar panels just provide assistance where necessary to ensure all properties are converted from fossil fuels to electric for their heat and hot water. This makes total economic sense and reduces the carbon footprint that is created with the installation of retrofit insulation’s and solar panels.
  • Posted by LizH September 23, 2019 at 11:17

    Provide renewable energy from diverse sources. Explore smaller local electric plants that tap into the grid. Tax pollution
  • Posted by RachelAG September 24, 2019 at 09:29

    Agree with all of the above - in particular point 3 by McBain. A source of my eco anxiety (and I’m sure others’) is the fear that these ideas are going to be frozen in a loop. There is no time for this.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob September 24, 2019 at 14:41

    Break ground as soon as possible on our first on shore wind turbine.

    I suggest that one at Windy Corner would be iconic and will show the world at the next TT that the IoM has joined the fray - assuming it is feasible and optimal.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob September 24, 2019 at 14:46

    Assess the potential of converting one line of the mountain railway into a gravitational potential energy storage facility. Use on Island engineering where feasible.
  • Posted by petersmith September 25, 2019 at 13:05

    75% of the UKs reduction in GHG emissions in the last 10 years has come from clean energy and clean energy tech as highlighted in the recent climate change presentation by Professor Curran. Start now with clean energy systems and technology otherwise it will be too late. If the UK has done 75% of clean energy in the last 10 years we could do it in 5 and have a 75% reduction in our GHG emissions very quickly. If Agriculture can be involved they could be Carbon negative in as little as 5 years. I know the excuses about infrastructure needing upgrading etc etc but its all just a good sounding excuse that can be overcome with money. If you can find 130million for the steampacket and 30 million for the electric railway I am sure there is a spare 100million in a drawer somewhere to sort out the energy networks and start producing green energy ASAP.
  • Posted by GREENIOM September 25, 2019 at 13:09

    First thing first. We absolutely MUST NOT allow exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons off the coast of the Isle of Man. This is said elsewhere, but I will repeat here. To hire James Curran, and set up a Climate Change Transition team, then continue with supporting this outdated concept is completely hypocritical. A Climate Emergency means just that - it is urgent, and requires changes to be made outside the 'normal' remit. We cannot continue business as usual, and hydrocarbon exploitation is just that.
    If those in power are convinced that fracking is the only way we will be able to afford the changes that need to be made, then the people in power need to change. In an emergency, you don't consider whether you can afford to take action - you just do. And, it has been proven time and time again, though the initial costs of greenifying will be high, they are more cost-effective in the long run. Additionally, by not taking action now, the monetary costs of runaway climate change will be astronomical, and the burden placed on the children of today, rather than those who can make a difference before it is too late.
    These previous points consider only the current method of measuring value - money. We must also consider the social, environmental and health value of projects we take on. By choosing to support fracking, you ignore the alternative ways of measuring value (which I believe the transition team is looking into).

    However, this is not just a platform for saying what shouldn't happen. Instead of the exploitation of fossil fuels, the Isle of Man must invest (through bonds, crowd-sourcing, etc.) in offshore windfarms. Just 5 wind turbines will power the Island's current electricity needs. This will increase as we electrify. Though tidal is a fantastic option, the technology is just not there yet, and should absolutely not be relied upon as an option. As we ramp up our renewable supply, which will take a few years, then the technology may be ready to be implemented, but we cannot rely on unproven technology to solve a proven (and urgent) problem. This national resource should be backed up by both community energy projects, and energy storage. Using electric cars as battery storage when not in use (e.g. night time, and between working hours) can provide energy at those times, and during hours of overproduction, we can power reservoir storage (which is a proven technology). If we cannot store enough energy, then use the interconnect cable to buy electricity from the UK. The Island has more wind potential than energy need, therefore we will sell significantly more than we have to buy during hours of low production, reducing costs.
    Community energy projects (which will require a change in the Electricity Act) would supplement this supply, and allow small communities to provide their own energy, and sell back to the national grid. This would require the MUA's debt to be forgiven, as currently there is no incentive to allow people to generate their own electricity, as it would reduce their income, and therefore their ability to pay off the debt. This should ABSOLUTELY be a recommendation in the report.
    By providing communities with the autonomy (and perhaps grants) to fund and build their own renewable energy supplies, we engage people with the climate question on a personal level. By having ownership over their own energy, they are much more inclined to be involved in other issues surrounding climate change, and will likely electrify their own homes and lives naturally, in order to take advantage of the energy supply. This takes some infrastructure pressure off Government, and allows a bottom-up approach to energy, and increase the choice we make about the electricity we buy.

    All of this requires electrification. Our public transport system must be moved to an all-electric one, and be transformed to be reliable and accessible to all. Those living in towns should be within a 15-minute walk of a bus stop, and some form of park and ride scheme should be implemented for those living in villages and areas outside the normal routes. All buses should be able to take bikes. It should also be completely free. This sounds too optimistic but when the costs saved by having a well used public transport system are taken into consideration, this change is of benefit. The cost of widening roads to accommodate more traffic, of building bypasses (for example in Ballasalla), for creating more spaces for car parking (while removing a safe, social space for pedestrians), repair on roads, the huge cost of road traffic accidents (which occur at a rate double that in the UK), and the social isolation of those who don't own a car, and whom the current public transport system doesn't work for - all of these will be significantly reduced by having an accessible, free, electric public transport system. I acknowledge there are also issues with this idea, and would like to discuss them further with anyone who is willing.
    Additionally, retrofitting of buildings and fitting of air/ground source heat pumps must be implemented Islandwide (with Government taking the costs, at least for the beginning, and for those unable to make the change themselves due to financial hardship). All new builds should be to Passivhaus (or other zero-carbon) standard, both residential and business. The sale of petrol and diesel vehicles must be prohibited within the next 5 years, but with an educational aspect of ensuring people keep their current cars for as long as is practical, due to the high environmental cost of new vehicles.

    There are many, many more things to suggest, and I am happy to discuss those with anyone interested. Thank you for opening up this dialogue, and the opportunity for discussion and contribution. I truly hope you take radical solutions on board. You are in such a powerful position - your report is what the people of the Isle of Man will be pushing for - it will be difficult to push anything more radical. So please, for the sake of this generation, and all those yet to come, please, please be radical and idealistic - it is the ONLY way we will get change. Thank you.
  • Posted by McBain September 26, 2019 at 09:56

    GreenIOM makes some valid points:
    • deploying renewable technology will take a few years, but no more than that, particularly if you look at already ‘mature’ technologies like onshore wind (cheaper than offshore in all respects) and has a much higher energy density than solar;
    • allying renewable generation to storage will remove any anxiety over intermittency, as such a system would allow output peaks and troughs to be ’smoothed’, thereby reducing demand on the existing gas-fuelled CCGT, or stored so that it could be traded via the existing interconnector;
    • the Isle is the perfect place for electrification of transport (save perhaps for ’heritage’ routes like the steam train on Snaefell) because it is basically small, journey lengths are never going to exceed a vehicle's fully-charged range
    My biggest worry relates to political expediency - it's wonderful that many MHK's have seen the green light but I harbor an awful suspicion that this may be little more than a pre-electioneering stance designed to harvest votes and that following the general election, normal apathy will prevail and the only response will be ... again ... to commission a report to look at the situation!
  • Posted by DocMills October 01, 2019 at 12:36

    GreenIOM - you need 100+ wind turbines to power the IOM
  • Posted by DocMills October 01, 2019 at 12:37

    Build a Nuclear Power Station at the Point of Ayre. The only viable energy source for a carbon neutral world is nuclear power. Plenty of room at the Point and sell the excess to UK.
  • Posted by paulweatherall October 02, 2019 at 11:33

    The gas fired power station should be decommissioned by 2030 and plans drawn up to increase the capacity of the interconnector and install onshore wind turbines and solar farms.
    Tidal energy should be considered as the technology matures
  • Posted by MarXthespot October 02, 2019 at 20:06

    Consider remodelling energy supply to domestic properties as energy systems solar panels provide to and leased/maintained by the energy supplier tenant home owner pays for the solar panel but gets free electricity.

    I’m not sure of the capacity of the powerwall storage systems but I know solar power is viable with these fitted.

    What if there were district power storage like substation which collects and distributes energy collected by PV panels owned by the ‘supply’ company.

    The power station which does still have functional life could be turned into a science museum for children and adult educational entertainment of which there is nothing on the island.

    Industries requiring greater voltage for who we generate/supply so much electricity then knock it down and down, could run from a district model again sized appropriately to suit the demand in the locality.

    The solution may be to rethink the existing network and how that supply works. Jobs would be maintained fitting and maintaining panels. There is and income from the lease hire of the panels/storage systems, because we couldn’t possibly have free power that would end the debt of the MUA

    Change course don’t Be fooled into cracking a nut with a sledge hammer. like the incinerator concept which was sold as a good way to go! No to Nuclear No to wind turbines yes to solar and hydro electricity we have plenty of running water as yesterday proved.

    Hydro could double up as flood attenuation if strategically selected and implemented again the right size for the demand.

    I hope a new way to imagine supply and demand can be realised. Good luck🌍⚡️🌕
  • Posted by NoMoreFossilFeul October 11, 2019 at 04:12

    Absolutely no more hydrocarbon fossil fuel extraction.
    It's already locked up in a carbon store.
    It causes pollution in extraction methods.
    It directly counters any action.
    Better, more viable, more economic solutions exist that are carbon neutral.
  • Posted by NoMoreFossilFeul October 11, 2019 at 04:13

    Review and revisit all the government consultations that we have already paid for that talk about green energy generation.
    These can just be updated with new figures and costs.
  • Posted by NoMoreFossilFeul October 11, 2019 at 04:21

    Use existing modern technology such as ultra capacitors that are commercialy available now. They allow for temporary energy storage to smooth out supply and demand.
    They can be installed distributed across the island at substations or near green energy installations.
  • Posted by McBain October 11, 2019 at 16:21

    “Posted by DocMills October 01, 2019 at 12:36
    GreenIOM - you need 100+ wind turbines to power the IOM”

    Sorry, this is completely inaccurate. If for example, you wanted to use the Siemens SG 5.0-145, then with just *12* you could produce 60MW - more than the demand of the entire Isle. Not sure what sort of model you were envisaging as requiring hundreds to meet Isle demand...
  • Posted by McBain October 11, 2019 at 16:26

    “Posted by DocMills October 01, 2019 at 12:37
    Build a Nuclear Power Station at the Point of Ayre. The only viable energy source for a carbon neutral world is nuclear power. Plenty of room at the Point and sell the excess to UK.”

    Where to start...
    Total Isle electricity demand is way less than 65MW. A nuclear power station will produce *way* too much power. For example, the second reactor unit operating at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, India, is the seventh smallest nuclear reactor in the world. The Rajasthan 2 reactor is a horizontal pressure tube type pressurised heavy-water reactor (PHWR) and has a gross power capacity of 200MWe.

    In other words, you've only got a 65MW capacity interconnector, so what would you do with the excess power that you can't export, and have no use for on the Isle?

    Unless you want a bespoke nuclear power station and a new interconnector, in which case I'm ecstatic to learn that the Government coffers must be positively BULGING with billions just waiting to be spent!
  • Posted by Fell October 12, 2019 at 15:50

    There are a lot of renewable energy options available globally including solar, tidal and geothermal. At a local level however we have an issue which is the relatively recent massive investment and indebtedness in gas-fired electricity generation and in the incinerator energy from waste plant.

    We need much better public information on:

    1. the level of MEA debt still needing to be serviced by consumers,

    2. how this debt would be serviced if there was, say a 50% shift to renewable energy,

    3. what the cost impacts would be to private and business consumers.

    4. what the actual contribution of the MEA and the incinerator are to the Island's greenhouse emissions

    Clearly if the goal is to reduce emissions Pulrose would also need to stop generating electricity for export.

  • Posted by bettyburton October 13, 2019 at 10:40

    We need to move quickly into renewable energy. Solar panels could be fitted on Government buildings. All new-build to have solar power.
    Local community involvement in implementation.
    Government insistence on home insulation in both private and public sector housing and buildings.
    Wastage of heat adds to our problem.
  • Posted by Griffdog October 13, 2019 at 13:35

    Paul Allen from CAT had some amazing ideas of how this could work. Using his ideas I would suggest seeking expressions of interest from the public to have a part community funded off shore wind farm - like the UK premium bonds were used to set up the NHS - but in return you get reduced cost electricity. To fund the rest we should withdraw PSPA money from fossil fuel based companies etc and invest in our own future. Excess energy at peak times could be used for electrolysis to produce fuel for our existing powerplant- which will assist in paying off the existing debt we still have for this.

    There should be more incentives for individuals and companies to fit their own solar energy systems - including a better deal when selling back to the MUA.

    Even if we are not 100% self sufficient straight away we have to do something and we have to act very soon to start making some progress.
  • Posted by henryuniacke October 14, 2019 at 13:02

    Some very valuable comments have been written here, but the format of this 'space' lends itself more to soundbites than detailed responses.... and it 'silos' the comments to a particular category, not a holistic outlook. Now that we as a population have moved on from grappling with the concept of the 'climate and biodiversity emergency' and many individuals/bodies of people are 'up and running', it would be great for external bodies to be able to respond to Prof Curran's report once released. Will the report be disseminated to key stakeholders before it is debated in Tynwald? I am not aware that there is provision for this. Perhaps I am wrong. There is a significant body of expertise outside the civil service that would be able to scrutinise the report- and do it with a quick turn-around. I have seen this effectively done in Wales and believe that it is necessary for external bodies/groups to be involved in more formalised manner than just this public forum.

  • Posted by mtf October 14, 2019 at 19:19

    The feed in rate paid to residential properties that generate power should be broadly similar to the rate charged for power consumed. Currently it costs around 16p to buy a unit but you are only paid 9p for the units you feed in, so MUA is claiming a clear profit of around 43% on every unit supplied, despite the fact that the homeowner carries all the cost of generation. It isn't a way to encourage generation by residential properties, but if the MUA wants to continue to pursue this policy it should really offer to pay part of the cost of the equipment.

    The MUA also has a monopoly on selling power, so it isn't possible for anybody to generate it and sell it to somebody else directly to avoid this MUA "margin".

    Small wind turbines should be also be permitted development as long as they are more than a couple of metres from a neighbouring property.
  • Posted by AndrewWingate October 15, 2019 at 17:03

    We need to be realistic about fossil fuel use etc.

    If The Island used no fossil fuel whatsoever the effect on the worlds climate would be imperceptible. The short [and probably long] term substitution of electricity in vehicles and heating needs would increase the cost of living and therefore reduce the living standards of everyone on The Island.

    Some mitigating measures are possible but let us not have our politicians make us all markedly poorer whilst chasing rainbows.

    There has been comment about shutting Pulrose power station and buying electricity from across. This would not reduce emissions, it would simply move them somewhere else. It would also leave The Island vulnerable to pressure from a hostile UK Government who could threaten our electricity supply.

    There is much energy in a litre of petrol or diesel and a cubic meter of gas. To substitute this energy with electricity would need a huge and costly increase in generation capacity, and infrastructure. It must be kept in mind that the wind and sun cannot give consistent electricity generation all the time and fossil fuel generation will still be needed for the foreseeable future.

    Electricity is nothing like as efficient a form of power for vehicles as is often made out. From initial generation, through transmission cables, battery charging, and final use in a motor, there are losses all along the way. There is also a significant environmental impact on making and disposing of high power batteries.

    The increasing wealth of East Asian countries and Africa imply a huge increase in electricity demand throughout the world. With that background, and its probable effect on climate change, it would be foolish for The Island to indulge in expensive mitigation.

    Inconveniently the world has moved through great temperature changes in its existence and no doubt will continue to so do after humans have become extinct. The rapid increase in the worlds human population in the last millennia must have had a marked effect on climate change. Hopefully, there may be a realisation by individuals that reducing family size and hence the worlds population will make the world a better place.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob October 15, 2019 at 21:27

    Battery storage could be installed at every substation with clever management to maximise battery life and even out demand. As local generation is implemented the community level battery can store the generated electricity thus ensuring that the grid isn't overloaded.

    Apologies if others have suggested it already.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob October 15, 2019 at 21:37

    The MUA should partner with local solar PV installers to assess all homes for suitability for installing PV. Prioritise the optimum roofs available and work towards peripheral (East and West) opportunities as need arises. Home owners would be offered a rental for the roof space provided and perhaps a bonus for looking after them based on the electricity generated. Centralised monitoring would allow the MUA and home owners to monitor their production.
  • Posted by WooWaaBob October 15, 2019 at 21:48

    Consider using the EfW plant or another to implement the carbon capture mechanisms as suggested in the Zero Carbon Britain report from the Centre for Alternative Technology. ie. biochar, synthgas and synthetic liquid fuels.
  • Posted by FHorning October 15, 2019 at 21:48

    henryuniacke made some very good points.

    Leave fossil fuels in the ground, no extraction of gas!

    We should only consider renewable energy concepts which are 'proven technologies' like wind turbines and solar. Wave- and tidal energy are unfortunately many years away from large scale economical usage.
  • Posted by Louise October 16, 2019 at 17:47

    All of CoMin must be committed 100% to supporting a sustainable future. This means thinking bravely as commitments will survive longer than the five year fixed term. It is inconceivable that one hand is considering FF extraction when the other is declaring a climate emergency. This starts from the top. revoke the exploratory licence. Support home owners and small businesses to install renewal energy solutions in their home. Invest in a renewable solution as the national supply. Surely once built and installed the running costs would be far lower than the current situation? Now is the time to do this.
  • Posted by ManxMuriellie October 17, 2019 at 12:56

    Develop a combined approach, with solar panels on properties (required on new builds), wind turbines and other renewable sources (air source heat pumps etc). This will require support (planning, grants etc) for domestic and business properties to install solar etc.
    Focus on the islands’ needs primarily - we do not need many wind turbines to supply all of our energy so these could be developed with a small offshore farm, and some located strategically onshore. (Love the idea of one at Windy Corner!). But their siting needs to ensure they do not interfere with wildlife (which is also struggling).
    There are many ways of storing the turbine generated energy, not just batteries, but also hydrogen generation, with projects ongoing in the UK on how this can be used with natural gas as we wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
  • Posted by Joney October 18, 2019 at 18:20

    There is no support or public mandate for fracking off our coast. Government must refrain from pretending that this is not fracking in order to divert the issue. There is no evidence to back up their assertion that this is not fracking, nor is there any reason for further fossil fuel extraction. There are, however, very powerful and compelling reasons to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

    We should be investing in offshore wind, as well as exploring a range of other renewable options such as onshore, solar and tidal. Renewable energy is currently experiencing a technology boom. That is what we need to be getting on board with.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas