British tidal lagoon project given government backing

British tidal lagoon project given government backing

A £1.3 billion tidal lagoon project in Swansea will be given the go-ahead after a government-funded review is published.

Former UK energy minister Charles Hendry will publish his independent report, recommending the UK invests in this new form of renewable energy.

The man-made lagoon will generate energy using hydro turbines which collect and release tidal water. This could produce up to 350MW of power, providing electricity to 155,000 homes.

Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the company who will run the project, believe the Swansea lagoon could meet 8% of the UK’s energy needs, and is seeking a 90-year contract at £89.90MWh.

Dr Simon Harrison, Chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Energy Panel, said: “Although it may seem relatively expensive at first, it’s important to remember that this is a pathfinder project which, when applied at greater scale in other locations, promises long term cost competitive and predictable renewable energy.”

Hendry also commented on the cost effectiveness of the project: “If you look at the cost spread out over the entire lifetime – 120 years for the project – it comes out at about 30p per household for the next 30 years.”

The Swansea tidal lagoon will be the first of many similar projects, with a fleet of lagoons in the pipeline across several coastal areas of England.