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World’s first tidal lagoon gets green light

DECC grants development consent for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
LDA swansea Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

The world’s first tidal lagoon was awarded planing consent yesterday (9 June) in a bid to boost the transition to a low-carbon, home grown energy mix.

‘We need more clean and home-grown sources of energy, which will help to reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels. Low carbon energy projects like the tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay could bring investment, support local jobs and help contribute to the Welsh economy and Swansea area.’

Lord Bourne, Energy and Climate Change and Wales Office Minister

The Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay proposal was awarded development consent by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The consent order is for the construction of a tidal lagoon with a nominal capacity of 240MW.

Good Energy proposes tidal power – the world’s first man-made energy-generating lagoon

Transforming the UK’s energy mix

If built, turbines in the proposed six-mile horseshoe-shaped sea wall around Swansea Bay in Wales could generate around 500GWh per year of low-carbon electricity.

‘What a day for Wales and the building of a Welsh Powerhouse!

‘Wales led the way providing the fuel for the industrial revolution. We are now entering the era of the climate change revolution – de-carbonising our world in time to avoid two degrees of global warming – Wales can now lead this next revolution.

‘In the run up to the Paris talks on a global climate change deal, a deal to steer global emissions from 50bn tonnes CO2e down to 40bn tonnes CO2e by 2030 and 20bn tonnes by 2050, the UK and especially Wales has opened a new door to help answer the greatest challenge of our age.

‘With the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon becoming a reality, locking in 120 year life, zero carbon energy infrastructure, we have the potential to help transform our industrial economy and the UK’s energy mix.’

Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc

Value and affordability

The decision follows a recommendation made on 10 March 2015 by the Planning Inspectorate and an examination process which met or exceeded all the timescales laid down in The Planning Act 2008.

Local people, the local authority and other interested parties were able to participate in the six-month examination.

The project is still subject to Contract for Difference (CfD) negotiations to establish whether a tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay is affordable and represents good value for money for consumers. Any decision to offer a CfD for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project would be subject to strict value for money considerations and affordability, and to State aid approval.

‘Renewable energy on a nuclear scale’

Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc, commented that the project would provide a blueprint that paves the way for a fleet of lagoons, creating the opportunity for a whole new industry.

‘Through a single project we have the opportunity to create a whole new industry. And in a single step, that project can take us to low cost, renewable energy on a nuclear scale.

‘We see it as a game-changer, a scalable blueprint, paving the way for a fleet of lagoons that can work in harmony with nature to help secure the nation’s electricity for generations to come.

‘The tidal lagoons that follow – at Cardiff, at Newport, elsewhere in the UK and overseas – must each make their own compelling social, environmental and economic case to proceed.

‘But they have a pilot project to guide them and a blossoming technical and industrial network to support them.

‘We’ll create an opportunity for the local community and ordinary people across the country to part-own the lagoon, should they wish to do so, later in the year.’

Mark Shorrock, chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc

Good Energy

Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay is the first tidal energy project that Good Energy has invested in.

In 2014, Good Energy secured an option to buy 10% of the 495GWh projected annual power output from Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc, and took an equity stake of £500,400 in the company.

‘We’re thrilled to hear that Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay has got the go-ahead from planners today. This is a truly visionary project, providing an excellent opportunity for the UK to diversify its sources of renewable electricity and become more energy secure as a nation.

‘Innovation is in Good Energy’s DNA, that’s why we led the way with an early stage investment back in 2014. Our stake includes the right to purchase 10% of the lagoon’s electricity output. This will enable Good Energy to further diversify our sources of renewable electricity to supply our growing customer base.

‘This world-first project will also make an important contribution towards national carbon emission reduction targets saving over 236,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Harnessing transformational technology, this kind of renewable generation project lies at the heart of everything Good Energy is about, and we’re delighted that it has received the green light to proceed today.

‘Once operational, the development will provide electricity for more than 155,000 homes for at least 120 years – an amazing contribution to the UK’s renewable electricity mix. Looking further ahead the opportunity is truly game changing. We now look forward to the government working in partnership with the project to give it the support it needs.’

Juliet Davenport OBE, CEO and founder of Good Energy

Click here to find out more about Good Energy and how to switch to the renewable electricity company.

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