Renewables organisations hail Swansea tidal approval

Regen SW, Renewable UK, and Ocean Energy Europe have welcomed the planning consent approval for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon given by the UK Secretary of State.

According to RenewableUK, not only could Swansea Bay lagoon save over 236.000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year but the construction of this ‘first of a kind’ project could be the critical step to kick-starting a tidal lagoon industry.

Six potential lagoon locations have been identified around the UK which combined could provide up to 8 percent of the UK’s electricity and add up to £27 billion cumulatively to the UK GDP by 2027.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith, said: “Today’s announcement is a major step towards harnessing this untapped energy source on an unprecedented scale, providing clean electricity to the nation for generations to come. It will also provide a massive economic boost with new jobs, economic development and tourism opportunities for the region at the heart of the project.”

Ocean Energy Europe, the European industry body for ocean renewable energy, welcomed the decision deeming the project as an important landmark in the creation of a new European industry.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Tidal power is an essential second generation renewable technology, necessary to decarbonise our energy mix, create a new industrial sector and balance the grid. Europe has been watching with great excitement the developments at Swansea Bay and the potential follow-up projects. Once the concept has been proven at Swansea, a pipeline of projects will provide significant amounts of jobs and growth in the UK and in other areas of Europe.”

Regen SW, a non-profit company working to enable business, local authorities and other organisations to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency and build a prosperous low-carbon economy in the south west of England, congratulated the team at Tidal Lagoon Power for taking the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project to this stage.

Johnny Gowdy, Director at Regen SW, added: “Government support is still needed for the project to reach financial close but, if built, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be a pathfinder project which could create opportunities for further tidal range projects around the UK including south west England.

“These schemes will contribute to our long term energy needs and deliver wider economic benefits to the UK economy. It is vital now that we use the Swansea Bay Lagoon as a proper test bed to fully understand both the potential benefits and impacts of large scale tidal power in the Bristol Channel.”

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