Official report highlights ground-breaking potential of tidal lagoon technology
12 January 2017
Posted by: Rob Norris
RenewableUK is welcoming a review of the benefits of tidal lagoon energy. The study was commissioned by the Government, and carried out by the former Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
He said tidal lagoon technology can deliver a secure supply of energy for a price that’s competitive in the long term – the equivalent of the cost of a pint of milk per household per year. He added that tidal power is a completely predictable source of energy.
The review is significant for Tidal Lagoon Power. The company secured planning consent in 2015 to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay. This 320 megawatt (MW) project will generate enough power to meet the annual needs of 155,000 homes.
The company aims to begin construction within a year of getting a final green light after the successful conclusion of negotiations with Government. It is the first project of its kind in the world, marking the start of a whole new industrial sector. We can expect to see significant cost reductions as each further project is built.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said:
“It’s great to have this ringing endorsement of innovative technology and modern industry. The world’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay can provide power for our national energy needs and create local jobs for decades to come. Government should finalise negotiations so that work can start on this important infrastructure project as soon as possible.
This is a new growth sector with huge potential to bring industrial-scale economic opportunities to the UK. Each new tidal lagoon will drive down costs due to economies of scale, benefitting consumers, as well as strengthening the security of our energy supply.
“The UK’s future energy mix will be powered by a broad range of low carbon technologies which can be delivered by British companies. This means investing today in new sources for tomorrow – including marine energy technologies such as wave, tidal stream, and tidal lagoons”.
Mr Hendry takes up this theme in his report by making clear his support for other marine energy technologies such as wave and tidal stream, stating:
Marine energy technologies offer an energy opportunity where the UK can reasonably aspire to be the global leader, with some substantial supply chain opportunities to match it.
I would urge the Government to look at these opportunities not just in tidal lagoons but for marine renewable energy more generally. Whilst wave technologies are further behind tidal technologies, the UK should be promoted as a centre of global excellence and opportunity for the development of all marine energy technologies”.
For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Webber, Director of External Affairs, 0207 901 3012 or 07792 463 445
Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 0207 901 3013 or 07969 229913 Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com
Adam Wentworth, Communications Officer, 0207 901 3038 or 07791 702702 Adam.Wentworth@RenewableUK.com
1. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal energy industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 400 corporate members, RenewableUK is the country’s leading renewable energy trade association.
2. Tidal Lagoon Power’s 320MW Swansea Bay project received planning consent in 2015 and will comprise 16 hydro turbines, a six mile breakwater wall, generating electricity for 155,000 homes for the next 120 years. Construction work will take five years to complete.
A tidal lagoon is a ‘U’ shaped breakwater, built out from the coast which has a bank of hydro turbines in it. Water fills up and empties the lagoon as the tides rise and fall, generating electricity on both the incoming and outgoing tides, four times a day.
About £35 million has been spent on developing the project so far – this has been financed privately, with the exception of a commercial loan from Welsh Government. Most of the project’s £1.3 billion capital spend will be on content sourced in Wales and across the UK.
3. Charles Hendry’s comments can be heard on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme at 06.54am. His full report can be found here