Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 14:50 UK

Tidal power 'within five years'

Stormy seas
The Channel Islands have some of the best tidal resources in Europe

Tidal power could be generated off Guernsey within five years, the island's electricity company has said.

Politicians will be asked to establish a new Renewable Energy Commission during the States meeting next week.

Guernsey Electricity said with viable technology and a suitable regulatory, financial and legal framework, tidal turbines could soon be seen.

Alderney States has already voted to go ahead with a tidal energy project and Jersey is also considering tidal power.

Financial support

Guernsey Electricity spokesman Steve Morris said not only would tidal energy provide a clean source of energy for the island, but it could potentially enable electricity to be exported to Europe.

He said the States would have to establish how the introduction of the technology was supported financially, as initially it would be more expensive than fossil fuel.

Earlier this year, Treasury and Resources Minister Charles Parkinson said while there was a lot of interest in harnessing the power of the sea, he hoped it would not have to funded by taxpayers.

Five years ago Professor Peter Smith, from the University of Nottingham, said Guernsey had the capacity to supply the UK with a third of its tidal energy.

The Channel Islands are thought to have some of the most favourable and accessible tidal resources for marine power in Europe.

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