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Government quiet as tidal lagoon pressure builds

Lagoon wall (tidal lagoon power)crop

Pressure has mounted on the government to take decisive action on the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon after 107 MPs called for it get the go-ahead.

A letter signed by 107 MPs was sent to energy secretary Greg Clark this week, calling for a quick response to Charles Hendry’s government-commissioned independent review of tidal power projects, which backed the £1.3bn Swansea Bay project.

Hendry’s review, published last month, concluded that creating a tidal lagoon pathfinder project would be a “no-brainer”. However, the government has yet to respond, raising concerns that the UK could “wait for a more determined nation to lead”.

“Former energy minister Charles Hendry started his review as a sceptic and ended as an enthusiast. He was very clear in urging the government to give the green light for a pathfinder in Swansea – the world’s first ever tidal lagoon – and then see whether the experience justified going ahead with much larger future lagoons,” said the letter’s author and All Party Group for Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons chair Richard Graham.

“Our letter is to urge the government not to delay in responding positively to the recommendations and getting the financial talks for the pathfinder under way.”

Scheme backer Tidal Lagoon Power claims its Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would cost 31p per household annually over the first 30 years of its 120 year lifespan, making it competitive with nuclear and offshore wind.

“The government is considering the recommendations in the Hendry review and the issues which arise from a broader programme,” said a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“The government will require a period of time to assess the merits of such a programme and determine what is in the best interest of the UK energy consumer and taxpayer in the long term, and will publish its response to the Hendry review in due course.”

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