Britain can champion European re-industrialisation and world-leading innovation by supporting the creation of a new tidal lagoon industry. Immediate support for early projects will bring forward large, low-cost projects which will significantly benefit the UK and its European supply chain.
These comments from Rémi Gruet, Chief Executive of Brussels-based Ocean Energy Europe follow the announcement of a review by the UK Government of the tidal lagoon industry.
He said: “This review makes the UK the first country to seriously consider large scale tidal range in its energy policy, which we welcome. Right now, the UK government has the opportunity to once again become a champion of European industry by promoting manufacturing excellence and world-leading innovation at home.
“Helping the development of this new industry will open up new export markets for UK and European technology and expertise. Enthusiasm for the project in Brussels has been very strong and we hope to see it go forward as soon as possible.”
The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is the first in a series of planned projects in the UK, which would pave the way for a series of larger, lower cost projects capable of meeting 8% of UK electricity demand for 120 years and generate significant investments. The first projects at Cardiff and Newport represent 4GW of power and €13bn of investment in the UK, with significant technology export opportunities thereafter.
He added: “The economic case for creating this new industry is clear and the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project represents a win-win-win for UK industry, UK consumers and for Europe in terms of investment, jobs and low-cost, clean energy.
“Decision makers should support the start-up investments for this new sector while they have the opportunity, as they have done for other energy sources.”
Last week, the DECC commissioned a review of the technology to improve understanding of how tidal lagoons could contribute to the future of the UK’s energy mix in the most cost effective way.
Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “Tidal lagoons have the potential to provide the country with clean and secure energy. Whilst progress has been made to understand this technology, more work needs to be done to determine whether they present value for money.”
The review will commence this spring and it will help establish an evidence base to ensure all decisions made regarding tidal lagoon energy are in the best interest of the UK.