Plans for a £1.3bn tidal power lagoon in Swansea could still be backed by ministers despite government indecision on whether to support it, according to the author of an independent review on the project. Charles Hendry, a Conservative politician and former energy minister, enthusiastically supported the scheme a year ago as a source of clean power and UK jobs. Since then, the government has not indicated whether it wants to move ahead with the project, and ministers were recently reported to have gone cold on it. But Hendry told the Guardian he was still hopeful that Swansea would receive backing, because the plan would have been ruled out before now if it was not being given serious consideration. On Wednesday it was revealed that Carwyn Jones, first minister of Wales, had written to prime minister Theresa May offering “substantial” investment in the form of a loan or equity stake to help the lagoon move forward. Swansea city council has sent birthday cards to May, Clark and the Welsh secretary to remind them it is one year since Hendry recommended supporting the lagoon. Rob Stewart, the council leader, said: “Post-Brexit, this is exactly the kind of innovative project the UK government should be wholeheartedly backing because it will lead to a new global industry in the UK that will benefit British workers and British businesses.” There have also been warnings that a thousand jobs could be lost in the Midlands if the lagoon does not go ahead at GE plants in Stafford and Rugby, which had been earmarked to make the lagoon’s underwater turbines.
Guardian 11th Jan 2018 read more »