UK Government Signals Green Energy Project Is Uneconomic

  • Date: 13/01/17
  • Ben Webster, The Times

The world’s first tidal lagoon power station may be too expensive despite a government-commissioned review strongly backing it, according to Whitehall sources.

tidal

An impression of the wall at Swansea Bay. A Whitehall source has said the project is “very expensive” Tidal Lagoon Power/PA Wire

Charles Hendry, the former Conservative energy minister who led the review, said that the £1.3 billion project in Swansea Bay would cost each household “less than a pint of milk” per year and was a “no regrets policy” to help to tackle climate change.

He urged ministers to grant it a 60-year subsidy contract that would, at least for 20 years, be even more expensive per unit of electricity than the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Mr Hendry said that a network of tidal lagoons along the west coast would be cheaper in the long-term than either nuclear or offshore wind and create thousands of jobs during construction.

A Whitehall source said the Swansea Bay project was “very expensive” and the limited funds available for subsidising renewable energy might be better spent on established technologies.

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