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Tidal Lagoons review announced

News   •   Feb 11, 2016 11:00 GMT

Further delays for £1Bn Swansea Bay project

An independent review into the feasibility and practicality of tidal lagoon energy in the UK, has been announced by the Government.

The review comes amid delays to the Swansea Bay project, estimated at a cost some £1Bn, which would be the first of six tidal energy projects around the country. Government levels of subsidies for the scheme need to be agreed within the next few weeks or there is a risk it will not proceed.

Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive Tidal Lagoon Power, said: “The project planned for Swansea Bay is ready to go now. We have built a team, secured planning permission, secured equity sponsors, prepared a delivery team and a supply chain. We have received overwhelming support for this project locally, nationally and internationally. If tidal lagoon power at scale is to be a real option for the longer term, we need to start work on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon now. Otherwise the opportunity will be lost and the review will be all for nothing.”

Claims for the Swansea Bay project estimate it could generate some eight per cent of the UK’s electricity, providing the country with clean and secure energy. Energy Minister Lord Bourne, who announced the review yesterday, said: “Tidal Lagoons on this scale are an exciting, but as yet an untested technology. I want to better understand whether tidal lagoons can be cost effective, and what their impact on bills will be – both today and in the longer term.

“This review will help give us that clarity so we can determine what role tidal lagoons could have as part of our plans to provide secure, clean and affordable energy for families and businesses across the country.”

Commencing this Spring, the review will determine whether the projects represent good value for money and will improve understanding into how tidal lagoons could contribute to the future of the UK’s energy mix in the most cost effective way; allowing the government to make the best decisions regarding the implementation of tidal lagoon energy for the UK.

Industry stakeholders, plus Tidal Lagoon Power, the proposed developers of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be invited to take part in the review and consultation will take place with relevant Government departments – in particular DECC and HMT for financial aspects.

The review will consider:

  • An assessment of whether, and in what circumstances, tidal lagoons could play a cost effective role as part of the UK energy mix;
  • The potential scale of opportunity in the UK and internationally, including supply chain opportunities;
  • A range of possible structures for financing tidal lagoons;
  • Different sizes of projects as the first of a kind;
  • Whether a competitive framework could be put in place for the delivery of tidal lagoon projects.

Mark Shorrock, continued: “This is a huge step from the UK Government and a clear signal that it sees potential advantage for the UK energy consumer in very long-dated tidal energy infrastructure assets.

“There is vast potential for tidal lagoon power to provide cheap long-term renewable energy at scale and to be taken formally into national policy.

“We welcome the opportunity to put the case for a major programme of cost-effective power. This is a home-grown source of power, the natural way to power our nation. We have built a supply chain which puts UK companies at the forefront of a new world-leading technology.”

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