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Swansea Bay; an opportunity lost

June, 2018

The UK Government have today announced that they will not be committing public money to support Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed project in Swansea.

This decision is deeply disappointing, and means that the region will not benefit from many thousands of jobs from the project and the associated supply chain. 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.

Artist’s impression of the lagoon

The original timeline for the project

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon was granted its Development Consent Order (DCO) on 9 June 2015. The company expressed the desire at the time to have the project operational by 2018 at the earliest, with overall construction completed in 2019.

The subsequent independent review into the project, carried out by former Minister Charles Hendry, published a report on 12 January 2017 calling it a ‘no regrets option’, and described the cost as being a ‘pint of milk’ on bills for the next thirty years.

“The loss in skills, supply chain and economic activity to Swansea, the region, to Wales and to the UK is colossal”  – David Clubb

In reacting to this disappointment, we must also not lose sight of the fact that Wales is home to many other marine energy projects – albeit far smaller – and that they must also have the chance to obtain public support for their deployment.