Decision imminent on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
A decision by the UK Government on the fate of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is rumoured to be announced this week. For the people of Wales it seems to have been a long time coming.
The lagoon – a world first – will harness the power of the tides to provide long-term, predictable, low-carbon electricity for the UK; generating enough energy to power 155,000 Welsh homes annually. The Welsh government has pledged funding to help secure the deal.
Lord Nicholas Stern, Professor at LSE and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, argues in a letter to The Guardian that the lagoon will bring many benefits, and that countries around the world are closely following the UK’s decision on tidal power.
So why is the lagoon such a good idea?
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will help to secure the UK’s future energy supply. It is being developed by Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) who are planning five other projects in UK waters. Together, these lagoons will be capable of generating sufficient energy to supply around 8% of the UK’s total electricity.
But Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is not just about sustainable energy production. It also demonstrates visionary place-making and points to how new infrastructure can be used to drive regeneration.
LDA Design’s masterplan takes a multi-functional approach to transform 2.5km of redundant dockside into a tourist hot spot, with a regional sailing centre and a new beach.
The sea walls will not only help to reduce future flood risk; they will also create the framework for a new maritime park. In addition, the site provides an attractive setting to Swansea University’s new Bay Campus.
The scheme has been welcomed by an enthusiastic local community, which gave it an 86 per cent approval rating.
The lagoon has been backed by an independent review of tidal power. Former energy minister, Charles Hendry concluded it was a ‘no regrets option’.
Watch this short film to see what the lagoon aims to achieve and just what’s needed to make it happen.
We await the government’s decision with bated breath.