Marine Energy Wales regrets the recent UK Government’s decision to not support the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project. With significant backing from Welsh Government and the clear “no regrets policy” made by the independent Hendry review, this demonstrates not only a policy mismatch between Wales and the UK Government but a disregard for low carbon ambitions in devolved nations at a Westminster level.
Whilst this will undoubtedly stall progress on the Swansea Bay project the wider marine energy sector needs clarity from UK Government. There are plans for other tidal range projects across the UK and tidal stream and wave energy are creating innovative jobs in peripheral economies, supporting supply chain clustering and resilience and creating maritime export opportunities.
The recent Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult report clearly demonstrated that tidal stream and in the longer-term wave energy, can meet the UK Governments triple test and support the UK Industrial and Clean Growth Strategies. If supportive policy is implemented the sector can become cost competitive with nuclear and other low carbon technologies but with the added benefit of unrivalled UK supply chain content.
David Jones, Project Director at Marine Energy Wales said: “Along with the other devolved nations Wales views tidal range, stream, and wave as maritime economies where we can build world leading industries and export into growing global markets. Marine energy will follow the cost reduction seen in offshore wind, with companies and communities benefitting from a new blue economy. With Brexit on the horizon it is more important than ever that the UK Government realises and responds to the regions that have prioritised these low carbon emerging markets.”
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