Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Government scraps £1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal power scheme


Plans for a £1.3 billion tidal lagoon power generation project in Swansea Bay have been ditched after the government confirmed it would not back the scheme

Energy secretary Greg Clark said the government would not be providing funds for Tidal Lagoon Power’s Swansea Bay scheme nor five other planned tidal projects, due to concerns over value for money.

Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed 320MW project in Swansea Bay would have generated electrical power from the sea’s tidal force, using 16 turbines installed on a 10km-long breakwater.

Among those involved in the scheme is London-based Juice Architects, which revealed its design for an offshore visitor centre for the project in 2014 and FaulknerBrowns, which has drawn up plans for an associated 4,000m² watersports centre and oyster hatchery. 

LDA Design created the lagoon’s masterplan.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Clark said: ’The conclusion of our analysis is the project and programme of the tidal lagoons planned do not meet the requirements for value for money, and so it would not be appropriate to lead the company to believe that public funds could be justified.’

The £1.3 billion project was handed planning approval three years ago by then energy secretary Amber Rudd (see AJ 11.06.15), but Tidal Lagoon Power has been unable to agree a strike price – the money the government pays for each unit – since then.

Clark said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for the government to enter a contract with Tidal Lagoon Power over schemes which he claimed would cost taxpayers and consumers more than other low-carbon energy sources, such as offshore wind and nuclear.

Juice Architects Swansea

Juice Architects Swansea

The Swansea Bay scheme was to be the first of five UK tidal projects planned across the country. Others included a major facility across Cardiff Bay and one at Colwyn Bay.


Readers' comments (4)

  • a shame. could have been great

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Industry Professional

    Favouring low-carbon over zero-carbon because of costs. I think the taxpayers should have a say whether or not its worth it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A lost opportunity to exploit UK's natural "asset" of having very high tidal ranges.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 'Private Eye' has rather a different take on this project - not so much on the superficial philosophy as on the motives of the promoters, and on their Cornish coastal quarrying of the massive quantity of rock fill for the containment dam.
    It reminds me of a North London developer who lectured the recalcitrant local community in a remote part of Kintyre on the need to support green energy from windfarms - seen more as a licence to print money, in his case.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.