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Home » Over 100 MPs urge government to back tidal lagoons


More than 100 MPs from all parties have urged the government to make a swift decision in favour of pressing ahead with the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project, which was endorsed by former Conservative energy minister Charles Hendry in last month’s Hendry Review on Tidal Lagoons.

The letter, sent on Monday to Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark by the chair of the All Party Group for Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons Richard Graham, was signed by 107 MPs, including Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and former Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Lisa Nandy.

It urges the government to “give the green light” to Swansea Bay, which would be the first tidal lagoon project built in the UK and was backed by Hendry as a suitable “pathfinder project” for the country to explore the potential for further tidal lagoons capable of providing a significant and cost effective clean energy source.

“Since the Hendry Review, the government has announced its new Industrial Strategy,” the letter reads. “Whether investing in innovation, boosting new technology skills, developing supply chains, moving to a low-carbon economy, helping new sectors to flourish or creating maximum local strengths (particularly in Wales), we believe that tidal lagoons answer many ambitions in the ten pillars of our strategy.”

The letter goes on to claim the estimated cost of subsidising energy from Swansea Bay – pegged by Hendry at 31p per household per year for the first 30 years of its lifespan – is a “small price to pay” to unlock cheaper, larger scale developments such as those planned for Cardiff and Newport.

 Graham, MP for Gloucestershire, said the letter demonstrates the strong support the Swansea Bay proposal has among his Westminster colleagues and insisted it complements the government’s Industrial Strategy aims.

“Our letter is to urge the government not to delay in responding positively to the recommendations and getting the financial talks for the pathfinder under way,” he said in a statement.

The government has said it is considering the findings of the Hendry Review in detail and will make a decision on Swansea Bay – and the potential for other lagoons – in due course. “Government will require a period of time to assess the merits of such a programme and determine what is in the best interest of the UK energy consumer and taxpayer in the long term,” a spokesman for BEIS added.

However, Whitehall sources have in the past indicated that Ministers remain concerned about the potential cost of the project and are keen to explore if costs can be brought down further.

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