Commenting on news that the UK Government is not supporting the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, Harri Lloyd-Davies, President of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce said:
“This news is a bitter pill for Swansea and the hopes for South Wales to become a hub for the renewable energy industry.
“This is a short-sighted decision by the UK Government. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon was meant to be the first of many lagoons along the coast of the Severn Estuary, and eventually around the UK, and would give us clean energy for at least 120 years.
“It’s true that this first pathfinder lagoon would cost a lot and wouldn’t generate as much electricity as the new nuclear power station at Hinckley Point, but if the government are to be believed when they say they support renewable energy they need to start somewhere.
“Wednesday marks 64 years since the opening of the world’s first nuclear power station. That generated just 5 MW of electricity but if it hadn’t happened the industry wouldn’t have grown to develop the 3260 MW Hinckley Point C. In the same way, if the 320 MW Swansea lagoon doesn’t happen it’s unlikely that another lagoon in Cardiff, which is estimated will be able to power every home in Wales, will be built.
“Today’s announcement leaves us asking what is the government’s long-term plans for renewable energy? Business not only wants affordable energy today, it needs assurance that the lights will stay on over the coming decades, and beyond the lifespan of the power stations currently being built, which are relatively short compared to the tidal lagoon. The government needs to be clear about the support it’s willing to give to untested renewable energy technology and what it sees as acceptable subsidy levels for anyone else bringing forward a tidal lagoon project.”