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Tidal lagoon power study claims £27bn GDP benefit

Six tidal lagoon power plants would contribute £27bn to UK GDP over the next 12 years, according to new research.

The fleet of lagoons would supply 8% of the UK’s electricity and make an annual contribution of £3.1bn to the country’s GDP over their 120 year design life, according to the report  by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Construction on the UK’s first tidal lagoon, if granted the relevant permissions, will start in Swansea Bay next spring. 

Economic benefits of the tidal lagoons, according to the study, include:

  • A 12-year investment programme with an accumulated contribution of £27bn to UK GDP;
  • £35.5bn contribution to the UK economy and at its peak account for 0.3% of annual GDP;
  • Operation of the lagoons and the electricity they produce will contribute £3.1bn a year to the UK economy.

Douglas McWilliams, executive chairman at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “The UK is losing its hard-fought energy independence and struggling to identify genuine drivers of growth. We’ve been here before. The response in the 1970s was to support a domestic offshore oil and gas industry which became a world leader and has delivered huge benefits to the UK economy. This report shows why today’s response to the same challenges to energy sovereignty and economic growth would do well to exploit the new opportunity presented by tidal lagoons.”

John Cridland, director-general at the CBI, said: “We urgently need to upgrade our energy infrastructure, we need to capture greater value from green investments, and we need to re-balance our economy away from the South East. This report paints a compelling picture for the potential contribution of tidal lagoon infrastructure in each of these areas. We have the resource and we have the industry.”

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