Plans to build the world’s first tidal power lagoon have been thrown out by the UK government. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the £1.3bn project was not value for money, despite claims by developers Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) a revised offer made it cheaper. The decision has been slammed by local politicians across the parties, including the Conservatives. The scheme off Swansea Bay had £200m backing from the Welsh Government. But the UK government said it would not pay TLP the fee it wants for energy. TLP claimed no talks have taken place for more than a year and said supporters of the project have vowed to do what they can to make it a reality.
BBC 25th June 2018 read more »
FT 25th June 2018 read more »
Times 26th June 2018 read more »
The Welsh Conservatives described the decision as “desperately depressing”. Plaid Cymru tabled a vote of no confidence in the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns at the National Assembly for Wales following the Government announcement. The party’s energy spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts MP, said the UK government’s decision “demonstrates the need for Wales to gain greater control over its own future”. Friends of the Earth Cymru warned that “bold action” was needed to tackle climate change, which meant investing in innovative new technologies such as tidal lagoons.
The i newspaper 25th June 2018 read more »
Construction News 26th June 2018 read more »
The Secretary of State said an analysis of the project, expected to be able to generate 30 terawatt hours of power per year by 2050, could cost £20bn more than producing the same amount of power from wind and nuclear once financing, operating, and system costs were taken into account. The lagoon would saddle the average British household consumer with a bill that was £700 higher between 2031 and 2050, Mr Clark said. Despite turning down the proposal, the Business Secretary said the Government “believes in renewable energy and in the benefits of innovation”. The cost and the fact the lagoon would support only 28 jobs once the construction phase was over also weighed against it. Tidal Lagoon hit out at the decision with chief executive Mark Shorrock saying Mr Clark was “clearly misinformed”, adding the decision was a “vote of no interest in Wales, no confidence in British manufacturing and no care for the planet”. “He says Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will cost three times nuclear,” the chief executive added. “This is incorrect. Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will add just 30p to consumers’ bills whereas Hinkley Point C will add £12 or more to bills.”
Telegraph 25th June 2018 read more »
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, said: “Once again the Tories have defied all logic and failed to make the right decision for our economy, the people of Wales and the future of our planet.” Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, where the lagoon would have been based, told Clark: “You will never understand the frustration and anger felt in our city today.” Hendry told the Guardian that the government had failed to recognise the longer lifetime of lagoons compared to alternatives. “The offshore wind turbines will have to have been replaced three or four times during the lifetime of a lagoon; a nuclear plant would only last half as long,” he said. The project’s dismissal comes shortly after ministers said they were considering taking a multibillion-pound stake in a new nuclear power station at Wylfa in Wales. That reversed a decades-long policy of avoiding direct state ownership and will have made it possible to aim for a subsidy price much lower than the lagoon’s. The Swansea scheme’s planned generating capacity is about a 10th of Wylfa but backers said it could be followed by five large-scale lagoons, providing a home-grown source of renewable energy, jobs and an export opportunity. Gloucester-based Tidal Lagoon Power had hoped to agree a guaranteed power price with the government – known as a contract for difference – for the “pathfinder” lagoon at Swansea. The Swansea project envisaged a U-shaped breakwater built across the bay and the tide passing through 16 turbines, generating power for 155,000 homes. First proposed in 2011, the lagoon won backing from the then chancellor George Osborne, who used his 2015 budget to announce the government was commencing negotiations with Tidal Lagoon Power for the plan. Clark insisted that if future tidal lagoons could demonstrate value for money, the government would consider them. However, industry observers think Monday’s rejection is likely to kill off prospects for any future lagoons in the UK. Other technologies that harness the power of the tides are still seen as having potential.
Guardian 25th June 2018 read more »
Instead of supporting a potential success, the government has decided to continue propping up a failure.
Independent 25th June 2018 read more »
Statement by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark on the proposed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.
BEIS 25th June 2018 read more »
Value for Money Assessment.
BEIS 25th June 2018 read more »
In response to the decision today, Shorrock hit back at “misleading” government claims that the capital cost of the Swansea lagoon would be three times that of Hinkley Point C, per unit of electricity. “The offer to the UK government for Swansea is AT THE SAME PRICE as nuclear for a small pathfinder which as he acknowledges is 0.15 per cent of the UK’s energy requirements,” Shorrock insisted in a statement. “The UK’s second proposed tidal lagoon at Cardiff would be 88 times less expensive for consumers than Hinkley. Furthermore, the £1.3bn build cost of Swansea is privately funded. It is NOT a cost to consumers as suggested by Mr Clark.” “This is a vote of no interest in Wales, no confidence in British manufacturing and no care for the planet,” Shorrock added. “Justified through a faux concern for consumers who would readily invest in a British tidal power industry for today and for future generations.”
Business Green 25th June 2018 read more »
In response to the announcement that the government will not be supporting the plans for a tidal lagoon power scheme, Emma Gibson, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said – “Today the people of South Wales learnt that they won’t be hosting the first tidal lagoon in the world, losing the potential for new jobs, a new export industry and a new source of reliable, clean energy. A government that styles itself as an international leader in tackling climate change has just rejected the opportunity to become the international leader in developing tidal lagoons that produce clean energy day and night, and whose prices would have fallen after this first demonstration project. Instead the government is preparing to throw billions of taxpayers’ hard earned cash at a nuclear industry that has been relying on hand outs for 60 years, as its prices just keep spiralling and delivery is delayed year after year. Instead of supporting a potential success, the government has decided to continue propping up a failure.”
Greenpeace 25th June 2018 read more »
Simec Atlantis Energy’s boss has defended tidal energy, calling it a “golden opportunity” as the UK Government rejected the £1.3 billion. Swansea tidal lagoon yesterday. In June 2017, the Duchy of Lancaster nominated Simec Atlantis Energy for the Wyre Estuary tidal power and flood protection project.
Energy Voice 26th June 2018 read more »
And the minister said the estimated cost of the six lagoons is £50bn, around two and a half times the cost of EDF’s new nuclear power station at Hinkley that would generate a similar output of electricity. To provide the same level of generation through offshore wind would cost ‘at least’ £31.5bn less to build, according to Clark. He said he had received advice that the 30 TWh per year of electricity generated per annum by the full fleet of lagoons would cost up to £20bn less if it were produced from a mix of offshore wind and nuclear, equating to an average additional £700 on the average British household’s bill over a 20-year period.Former Liberal Democrat energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “This is a betrayal of Britain’s energy and economic future – and will be particularly devastating in Wales. “Britain is an early leader in tidal power and has the potential to become the world champion. Tidal lagoons are the smartest way to take this opportunity. Yet the Conservatives are effectively killing it. “The government is talking utter nonsense on the price of tidal and have failed to engage in the facts. Swansea Bay, as a pathfinder experiment, would add only 30 per cent a year to people’s bills and the next lagoon would be 80 times cheaper than Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.”
Edie 26th June 2018 read more »