Tidal lagoon supporters await government review

The Hendry Review, an evaluation of the viability of tidal lagoon projects, is due out on Thursday, and supporters of the technology are urging the government as to its benefits.

The Financial Times reports that 42,500 people are pressing the government to back tidal lagoon technology, arguing it could be a crucial contributor to Britain’s energy needs, as well as a vital source of manufacturing jobs.
Swansea tidal lagoon
The main scheme under the microscope, the Swansea tidal lagoon power project, is being examined with a view to establishing whether the public subsidies required to bolster such schemes are worth it.

Companies, including Sheffield Forgemasters, the steel and engineering company, plus the British arm of General Electric, believe supports are justified.

“We have at our fingertips a brand new sector that will create a multibillion-pound industry, provide tens of thousands of jobs across the country and create a significant local supply chain. All of this before we even think about the massive potential as a British export technology,” the companies write in a letter to the Financial Times.

Supporters of the technology argue tidal lagoons are predictable, generate no carbon emissions and could provide as much as 12 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs.

Tidal Lagoon Power, the company behind the Swansea Bay project, argues the scheme could act as a pilot for five much larger schemes, including in Cardiff, that would prove over their lifespan more cost efficient for the taxpayer than many other technologies, such as nuclear power plants.

The pilot scheme would involve building a six-mile horseshoe-shaped seawall with underwater turbines that would enclose part of Swansea Bay and provide enough power for 155,000 homes. The project is expected to have a lifespan of 120 years.

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