The government has been urged not to let a new independent review into tidal lagoon energy hinder progress on the Swansea project.
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay said it was ‘imperative’ that negotiations with the government on the project are concluded within the next six weeks and the review mustn’t stand in the way of this.
The government said work was needed to assess the value for money of tidal lagoons. The review will start in the spring and the government said it expected the proposed developers of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and other industry stakeholders to take part.
Energy minister Lord Bourne 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.”
However Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay chief executive Martin Shorrock said: “It is imperative that we conclude our structuring and commercial negotiation with Government within the next six weeks. This is entirely possible; the review should not impact the finalisation of our commercial discussions. To unlock the potential of tidal lagoon power, we need investment in a demonstration project that will grow the supply chain and build investor confidence that an exceptionally long term project can go forward in today’s UK electricity market.
“Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is an appropriately small pilot project that gives rise to large scale projects. Investing in this project could add as little as 10p to householder’s bills. The first large scale lagoon to employ its blueprint could take £5 off householder’s bills
“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.”
Last week the Indian family behind energy giant Simec pledged “an eight-figure investment” in a holding company that was established by renewables developer Tidal Lagoon Power.