The government-commissioned Hendry review of tidal power has concluded that creating a pathfinder project would be a “no-regrets policy”, giving a boost to the proposed Swansea bay scheme.
Former energy minister Charles Hendry recommended the government capitalise on the work on the £1.3bn Swansea Bay lagoon already started by Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) , rather than start afresh on a new pathfinder.
Hendry said he had initially been sceptical about the potential of tidal lagoons, but had been convinced by the evidence he had seen and recommended “there should be a government strategy in place to help this [tidal lagoons] happen.”
He also stressed that the industry would bring benefits to UK manufacturing as well as creating a strong export opportunity.
“The Hendry review has set the final piece of the jigsaw in place: a watershed moment for British energy, British manufacturing, British productivity and our coastal communities,” said TLP chief executive Mark Shorrock.
“We look forward to working with ministers and officials to bring this new industry to life.”
The report makes more than 30 recommendations for bringing maximum benefit to the UK from tidal lagoon power, including:
- An allocation by a competitive tender process of sites for large scale tidal lagoons.
- Informing the consenting process with a National Policy Statement for tidal lagoons similar to nuclear new build, where specific sites are designated by the government as being suitable for development.
- The establishment of a new body (Tidal Power Authority) at arms-length from government with the goal to maximise UK advantage from a tidal lagoon programme.
The Hendry review was commissioned by government in May 2016 to assess the cost-effectiveness of tidal lagoons.