Welsh assembly members call PM May to back Swansea tidal

Over two-thirds of Wales assembly members have urged the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May to support the plans for Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.

The letter asking the Prime Minister to support the construction of the ‘pathfinder’ Swansea Bay tidal lagoon has been signed by 43 out of 60 assembly members (AMs).

“We offer you our clear support for a positive decision at the earliest opportunity for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon to proceed, and to be the pathfinder for future success for Wales and the UK as a global leader in tidal lagoon technology and renewable energy,” it is stated in a cross-party letter.

“While ultimately a decision for your Government, we strongly support the recommendations of the Hendry Review that this should be given approval as a ‘pathfinder’ project, because we recognise the potential benefits run far deeper than one might ordinarily expect of a single energy project.”

The letter by AMs follows the one sent by over 100 members of parliament earlier this month to the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark, urging the government to respond to the positive recommendations made in Hendry Review.

Charles Hendry, former UK energy minister, conducted a review into the feasibility of tidal lagoon industry in the UK, and found that tidal lagoons could make strong contribution to UK energy security.

Hendry also said that the construction of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon should begin as soon as possible.

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

In addition to the subsidy agreement with the government, the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon needs to receive the marine license from the Welsh government’s regulator body Natural Resources Wales (NRW) for the marine works to start.

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.

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