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Friday, October 02, 2015

Threat to Swansea tidal lagoon by UK Government foot-dragging

The one year delay in building the Swansea tidal lagoon that was covered in today's South Wales Evening Post is worrying on a number of levels. Chiefly, it will raise doubts as to whether the lagoon will ever be built.

The fact that the company has announced that work will not now start on site until spring 2017, a year later than hoped, is worrying enough, but. the chief concern is that the UK Government are dragging their heels on making a decision over how much they will pay for the electricity.

I am a big supporter of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon but it is quite clear that the failure of the UK Government to agree the price for the electricity it will generate within the original timetable has led to this delay. The danger now is that the project will lose momentum and that investors will take their money elsewhere.

The question is whether this dragging of heels means that UK Government may not be prepared to pay the price the company needs to make the project viable. I am concerned that the government’s lack of commitment to the lagoon and to renewable energy generally could kill it off completely.

The Conservative Secretary of State for Energy needs to give some assurances that this will not be the case and accelerate the decision-making process so that Swansea, and those who want to invest in this project can have some certainty about the lagoon’s future.
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