Developers of a proposed world-first tidal energy lagoon in Swansea Bay have been forced to delay their construction schedule until 2018 at the earliest as the Government wavers over whether to subsidise the project. The project, devised by entrepreneur Mark Shorrock, was originally slated to start construction in spring 2015 but has been repeatedly delayed as political enthusiasm waned. In recent weeks, Tidal Lagoon Power has quietly updated its website to delete a reference to aiming to start construction work on site in 2017, amid little sign that the Government is close to green-lighting the £1.3bn development. The company confirmed spring 2018 was now the earliest possible start date as it expected to take 12 months from getting the go-ahead from Government to starting construction, which will then take four years. In the spring the Government commissioned former energy minister Charles Hendry to conduct an independent review of the case for tidal lagoons. The review was due to be submitted in November, but was delayed until after the autumn statement, apparently under pressure from Government. Ministers have said the review will be published “soon” and that they will take time to consider its findings. Tidal Lagoon Power got planning consent for the Swansea project in June 2015 but faces another outstanding obstacle in the need for a marine licence from Natural Resources Wales, which has raised concerns that the project could kill thousands of migratory salmon and trout. The company disputes the analysis, saying it will have “minimal impacts on fish”, that the planning consent was granted on that basis and that “a host of world-leading fish experts” agree with its assessment.
Telegraph 27th Dec 2016 read more »