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Citizens’ Forum on Climate Change- Session Three – 24 February 2021

Energy - Where does our Electricity come from?

Following feedback from Forum members, we held the meeting for our February forum at The Lodge in Braddan, as this venue would enable our members to take part in break out groups. Members had the chance to make their individual contributions heard and have a more focused debate on our energy needs.

The session opened with a brief overview of the previous session’s homework, which was to think about the question ‘How can we make sure the changes are fair, and that vulnerable people are protected? Who should fund the changes needed?’

The members were invited to talk to their neighbour about their thoughts on these questions. Please email your feedback and this will be collated together to ensure we capture all your thoughts. This will also give the members who could not make it on the night an opportunity to have their say.

We then invited our energy strategy contractors, who are working on how the Island will achieve 75% renewable energy by 2035, to present to the forum regarding where our electricity comes from (a combination of the CCGT-Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, subsea interconnector and diesel generators.) and our potential future energy choices. The contractors gave a very interesting and thought provoking presentation which will be made available on the government website in the future. Areas covered included the energy trilemma, as well as options for future renewable generation and comparison with the Channels Islands approach to energy provisions. The members had a chance to question the contractors after the presentation, with questions such as:

  • What’s the geothermal potential on the Island?
  • What is the potential for energy generation from tidal steams on the island?
  • Where could CO2 be stored and how long can it be stored?

As the group is so engaged, we again had more debate and discussion than time, so we will be compiling those additional thoughts and queries via the Teams chat and then the website in due course.

After a quick break, the forum was divided into groups and each group was given a potential energy scenario. Within their teams the members discussed how all of the island’s future electricity needs could be generated using the scenario they were allocated. The scenarios given to each team were:

  • Baseload
  • Interconnector
  • Carbon Capture
  • Renewables.

Each group considered their energy scenario and their facilitator presented the findings when the group re convened. The result was a broad consensus that though each energy source had its advantages and disadvantages, a generation mix of renewable energy and storage provision or carbon capture as appropriate, which will ensure security of supply, is the best solution for the Isle of Man.

Mr Peake asked the members if they would consent to their names being made public in association with the Citizens Forum and members were subsequently asked to confirm this in writing.

Post session task: There are 8 types of technology available to us. In a pie chart independently distribute what percentage of the 8 types should make up energy generation on the Isle of Man. Please provide your rationale if you wish, along with any other input from your discussions with your community contacts or sector that you represent.

The 8 types of technology are:

  • Solar
  • Onshore & Offshore
  • Wind
  • Nuclear
  • Biomass
  • Tidal
  • Hydro
  • Carbon Capture

We would appreciate you emailing in your pie chart and wider feedback by 30th April if possible, so the Climate Change Transformation Board can factor it in to next steps in developing the Island’s Energy Strategy.

The members were reminded that there will be a further webinar on 11 March where the details and invite would be emailed to them.

Recording of Ove Arup's presentation:

Some photos from the session:

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply collage with attendees

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply notes collage

Climate change forum 24 February - Energy supply note