MPs urge UK government to support Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

Artist’s Impression – Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: TLP)

Over 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) have called the UK government to start contracts for difference (CfD) negotiations for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon as soon as possible.

The letter sent to the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark, was signed by 107 MPs, urging the government to respond to the positive recommendations made by Charles Hendry who conducted a review into the feasibility of tidal lagoon industry in the UK.

The report concluded that tidal lagoons could make a ‘strong contribution to UK energy security’, based on an analysis of security, carbonization, affordability and economic gain. It added that tidal lagoons would create a ‘lifeline’ to UK companies including some in the steel industry, and offer a ‘significant economic opportunity for Wales and the UK more generally’.

The review proposed the construction of a ‘pathfinder’ tidal agoon at Swansea Bay to start as soon as negotiations with the companies involved have been finalized.

Richard Graham, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for marine energy and tidal lagoons, said: “There is a large amount of support in Parliament for this and many of us believe that tidal lagoons meet the aims of the government’s new industrial strategy. Clearly the Business Secretary and the Chancellor will want to be sure the pathfinder is affordable in the context of delivering secure, domestic, low carbon and diversified sources of energy.

“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.”

Tidal Lagoon Power, the developer behind the proposed Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project, worth £1.3 billion is still awaiting the subsidy agreement with the UK government.

With the design life 120 years, tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay, would provide an annual net power output of 400GWh – enough to provide clean electricity to around 155,000 Welsh households.