The ambitious scheme to build a massive electricity-generating tidal lagoon off the foreshores of Penarth and Cardiff – and similar schemes – now face a major review to test whether they will deliver value for money.
The review of Tidal Lagoon Power’s plans for a lagoon off Swansea – and a much larger scheme in the Bristol Channel off Cardiff and Penarth with 66 tidal turbines – are now to be assessed by a new review set up by former Conservative leader in the Welsh Assembly Nick Bourne -now Lord Bourne who is a UK Government Energy Minister.
Lord Bourne says “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.”
The review, to start in the Spring, will examine :
- The cost effectiveness of tidal lagoon power as part of the UK energy mix
- The potential scale of opportunities in the UK and globally, including the supply chain
- Ways of financing tidal lagoons
- Scope for competition in “delivering” lagoons
Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, claims the review is a “a clear signal [that the Government] sees potential advantage for the UK energy consumer in very long-dated tidal energy infrastructure assets” .
The Welsh Labour Government seemed already to have made up its collective mind – with a spokesman saying “We would like to see the review completed with pace to ensure action can be taken as soon as possible to exploit Wales’ huge potential for marine energy.”
Peter Black, Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West, claimed the review showed that the Conservatives did not care about green energy and were “doing all they can to kick any attempt to grow a new green economy in Wales into the long grass”.
Plaid Cymru said the delay is “hampering our potential to take the action we need to meet our targets and protect our environment for future generations”.