RenewableUK disappointed by Government decision not to proceed with Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
25 June 2018
Posted by: Rob Norris
RenewableUK has expressed disappointment at the Government’s decision not to proceed with the 320MW tidal lagoon project in Swansea Bay. The decision goes against the Government-commissioned Hendry Review which recommended the UK should proceed with ‘a small scale pathfinder project (under 500MW) as soon as is reasonably practicable’.
Support for renewable and low carbon technologies is provided through fixed-price Contracts for Difference (CfDs). To date, no marine renewables have been secured a CfD. The Government has now decided not to proceed with a negotiated CfD for Swansea Lagoon, while other non-lagoon tidal technologies are required to compete on price with more established renewables such as offshore wind.
RenewableUK is highlighting the clear evidence set out in a report by experts at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult last month which showed that non-lagoon tidal energy technologies can quickly become cost competitive with a number of renewable technologies and nuclear power.
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said: “This decision is deeply disappointing and shows a lack of vision. Tidal lagoons have massive potential to meet our national energy needs and create jobs, as well as bringing industrial-scale economic benefits to the UK – including opportunities to export worldwide. The review commissioned by the Government on this innovative technology found that it can deliver secure power at a price that’s competitive in the long term.
“The UK’s future energy mix will be powered by a range of low carbon technologies. We know that with the right support, tidal energy can quickly become competitive on cost with other renewable and low carbon power like nuclear.
“With supportive policy and continued investment, we can rapidly cut the cost of new technologies and build world-leading industries. But at present there is no financial support on offer from government for marine renewables – or any new, innovative technologies. These are high-value new technologies that the UK can export to markets across the globe.”
The Director of RenewableUK Cymru, David Clubb, said: “This means that the region will not benefit from many thousands of jobs from the project and the associated supply chain. The loss in skills, supply chain and economic activity to Swansea, the region, to Wales and to the UK is colossal. It means that the pathfinder project, described as being a 'no-regrets' decision by an independent review, which could have led to a whole series of projects across Wales with benefits UK-wide, will have to seek another mechanism of financial support, or will not go ahead.”
For further information, please contact:
Sara Powell-Davies, Communications Manager, RenewableUK Cymru
07815 550 983 Sara.Powell-Davies @RenewableUK.com
The Director of RenewableUK Cymru, David Clubb, is available for interview
– please contact Sara Powell-Davies
Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 0207 901 3013 or 07969 229 913 Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com
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. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year.
The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s May 2018 report, Tidal Stream and Wave Energy Cost Reduction and Industrial Benefit, is available here
In January 2017 the Government-commissioned Review by Charles Hendry recommended proceeding with the project and adopting a tidal energy ‘strategy similar to that for offshore wind, with a clear sense of purpose and mission’ is available here.