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Former minister to lead tidal review

Tocardo tidal  turbines 2by3

Former energy minister Charles Hendry has been put in charge of the government-commissioned review of tidal power.

Hendry, who was a Tory minister from 2010 to 2012, started work on the independent review of tidal lagoons this morning.

The government said earlier this year that work was needed to assess the value for money offered by tidal lagoons.

Institution of Civil Engineers director general Nick Baveystock called for rapid action following the review.

“ICE welcomes the announcement of an independent review into the value of tidal lagoons as a means of broadening the UK’s energy mix,” said Baveystock.

“Energy powers all infrastructure networks, as well as homes and businesses, so it is vital that the UK has a clear and coherent energy policy, particularly if we are to achieve legally binding decarbonisation targets.

“Independent reviews and commissions provide politicians with a strong evidence base; however, without timely decision making the independent process is undermined. That is why we call on a decisive decision following the conclusions from the Hendry Review.”

Tidal Lagoon Power said in February that it was “imperative” that commercial negotiations with the government over its Swansea Bay pilot project were concluded within six weeks. The review should not affect this, it urged.

Today a spokeswoman for the company said negotiations were ongoing. “We look forward to getting into the detail with Charles Hendry and his team,” she added.

Tidal Lagoon Power’s pioneering 240MW Swansea Bay tidal project received planning consent from the Department for Energy and Climate Change last summer.

But it emerged recently that energy secretary Amber Rudd had warned the developer that its bid for subsidy for the Swansea Bay scheme represented a “significant deviation” from existing negotiations.

Hendry was chair of energy developer the Forewind Consortium from 2013 to 2015.

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