Hendry backs Swansea lagoon
Government review gives blessing to 'no regrets' 320MW project
A review into tidal lagoons commissioned by the UK government has given unequivocal backing to the technology and urges BEIS to agree a Contract for Difference (CfD) for a 320MW project at Swansea Bay.
Former energy minister Charles Hendry's review recommends BEIS begins immediate “final-stage (CfD) negotiation to explore robust and satisfactory terms that might be acceptable” to the government and Swansea Bay developer Tidal Lagoon Power.
Hendry said the negotiations should take into account the review’s “very strong case” for the proposed so-called pathfinder project at Swansea Bay and its conclusion that cost-competitive larger lagoons will follow.
“Moving ahead with a pathfinder lagoon is, I believe, a no-regrets policy,” said Hendry.
The review estimated the costs of a sub-500MW project at around £0.30 per household per year over the first 30 years.
A large-scale project would cost around £0.50 per household per year over the first 60 years, the report found.
Hendry’s review makes over 30 recommendations including the government creates an arms-length ‘Tidal Power Authority’ to maximise UK advantage from tidal lagoons because UK export and supply chain opportunities are “far from certain”.
It also recommends the consenting process larger scale lagoons should be informed by a National Policy Statement similar to nuclear new-build, where specific sites are designated by the government as being suitable for development.
TLP chief executive Mark Shorrock welcomed the "well-managed and thorough independent" review.
"The Hendry Review has set the final piece of the jigsaw in place: a watershed moment for British energy, British manufacturing, British productivity and our coastal communities. We look forward to working with Ministers and Officials to bring this new industry to life," he added.
Trade body RenewableUK welcomed the report and reaffirmed Hendry’s calls for Swansea Bay CfD negotiations to ramp up.
“It’s great to have this ringing endorsement of innovative technology and modern industry," said chief executive Hugh McNeal.
“Government should finalise negotiations so that work can start on this important infrastructure project as soon as possible," he added.
Image: Charles Hendry