UK government rejects Swansea tidal scheme: report

UK government ministers have rejected a £1.3bn tidal power scheme proposed for Swansea Bay, Wales, the Financial Times (FT) reports today.

Ministers believe the taxpayer subsidies needed to make the scheme pay are too high compared to other low-carbon generating approaches, government sources told the FT.

The decision was made two weeks ago but ministers have been deliberating over how to soften the blow with support for other low-carbon schemes in Wales, a source said.

There was not a "cat’s chance in hell" the scheme, promoted since 2011 by Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), would go ahead, another source said.

Carwyn Jones, first minister of Wales, said the rejection of the lagoon project would be "another kick in the teeth" for the people of Wales.

TLP’s proposal, which had provisional backing of £200m from financial institutions led by Prudential, would involve building a six-mile-long horseshoe-shaped seawall with underwater turbines generating energy on the outgoing tide.

Similar schemes in nearby Cardiff, in South Wales, and offshore Llandudno in North Wales were also being promoted by TLP.

"Once again Wales finds itself told by Westminster that it cannot do something that would be immeasurably positive for our economy, energy sector and environment," tweeted Dai Lloyd, opposition Plaid Cymru assembly member for South Wales West this morning.

According to the FT, ministers could announce their decision as early as next week.

Image: Render of the six-mile lagoon wall in the proposed Swansea Bay tidal power lagoon (TLP)

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  1. Seeing the havoc wrought on the south coast over the past couple of years I would question the maintenance cost of the sea wall. The government has made a far sighted decision for a change.

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