Ministers drop plans for Swansea tidal power project

29 Jun 18

The government has scrapped plans for a major tidal energy project in Wales, the energy secretary announced.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark told MPs that the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would be dropped on cost grounds.

“The project and proposed programme of lagoons do not meet the requirements for value for money, and so it would not be appropriate to lead the company to believe that public funds can be justified,” he said.

He claimed the power generated by the lagoon over 60 years would cost for £1.3bn, while generating this from offshore wind would only cost around £400m, even at today’s prices.

Clark added that the lagoon, if successful would only provide around 0.15% of the electricity used in the UK each year.

However, the decision was roundly criticised by opposition MPs and environmental campaigners.

Shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, called it a “kick in the teeth not only for Wales but for the renewables sector and industries outside the capital”.

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: “This is a bitter, dismal day for Wales and our clean energy future.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to use the country’s existing green potential to provide for its citizens, as this pilot scheme could have been expanded across the country.”

Hugh McNeal, chief executive of energy trade association RenewableUK, called the decisions “deeply disappointing” and said it showed a lack of vision.

Clark said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had received other proposals for tidal energy schemes at a lower cost, but these were in the early stages of development.

Earlier this month, Greg Clark suggested the government may invest £15bn in a nuclear power station in Anglesey.

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