Report says Welsh tidal lagoon can go ahead without UK govt help

Swansea Bay tidal lagoon model. Source: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) Plc. License: All rights reserved.

July 30 (Renewables Now) - The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in Wales can become a reality without UK government support with revised approaches to funding, procurement, construction and operation, according to a new report.

In June, the UK government gave the thumbs-down to the GBP-1.3-billion (USD 1.7bn/EUR 1.5bn) project by Tidal Lagoon Power, saying it would be too costly.

According to Holistic Capital Ltd, which has prepared a commercial review of the project, commissioned by Swansea University on behalf of the Swansea Bay City Region, the lagoon can potentially be delivered as a purely Welsh initiative. The company outlines several proposals to move the 320-MW scheme away from a model based on a contract for difference (CfD) with the UK government, including a Welsh government bond issue to help fund the project. Holistic Capital chief executive Paul Marsh tells Renewables Now that green bonds are a possible consideration.

Holistic Capital has also proposed creating an energy company to distribute the electricity directly to consumers, so that the lagoon becomes both an energy generator and supplier, which, according to it, would make the project more affordable. The recommendations further include using one construction company to build the lagoon, rather than two as in the previous proposal. The firm said this would simplify and reduce the costs of construction.   

Wales Online reported that following the report a task force is being established to consider ways to revive the project. Rob Stewart, the leader of Swansea council, was cited as saying that the task force would detail alternatives for procuring, building, financing and operating the project.

The City Region is understood to be studying members for the task force over the coming weeks. 

(GBP 1 = USD 1.312/EUR 1.123)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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