Senior Associate in the Acuity Construction team Jonathan Culley said:
“Having now had some time to digest the findings of the independent review by former energy minister Charles Hendry, published on 12 January 2017 (which was submitted to government previously in December 2016), Acuity are delighted that such a strong recommendation for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project to proceed swiftly has been presented to the government. We can only hope the government now agrees to the recommendations and proceeds with the CFD negotiations with gusto, and all other stakeholders play their part, to enable construction of the Swansea Bay scheme to commence in early 2018, as the developer Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc intends.
By way of summary, Mr Hendry has made it very clear that tidal lagoons would help deliver security of energy supply; they would assist in delivering our decarbonisation commitments; and they would bring real and substantial opportunities for the UK supply chain. Mr Hendry also believes that tidal lagoons could play a competitive role as part of the UK’s energy mix alongside low carbon energy from nuclear and offshore wind, and states that moving ahead with a pathfinder lagoon (i.e. in Swansea Bay) is in his view a “no regrets” policy and feels that there would be no debate in decades to come about whether this was the right thing to do. The proceeding larger scale lagoon projects could take advantage of the lessons learnt on the pathfinder project and Mr Hendry suggests that a new body (Tidal Power Authority) should be established at arms-length from Government, with the goal to maximise UK advantage from the tidal lagoon industry, and also recommends that contracts should be allocated by a competitive tender process for larger scale lagoons.
The costs of the pathfinder project would be about 30p per household per year over the first 30 years. To us, this appears to be a clear and very reasonable cost to incur, for Wales and the UK to pioneer an evolution in energy generation from the rise and fall of our tides, and all the benefits and exciting opportunities presented therein.”
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