Despite the Government’s crushing blow not to back the ground-breaking Tidal Lagoon, rumblings have started that it may not be completely off the table just yet.
A meeting was held in Swansea last month for the investors, developers, and interested institutions such as Swansea University to discuss the potential of proceeding with the project privately, irrespective of Government support.
Swansea’s Tidal Lagoon Hopes
If built, the Lagoon could provide electricity to over 155,000 homes across Swansea – and to many local businesses, too.
Taking the pressure off our already overstretched resource, oil, and much more eco-friendly than nuclear power, the Tidal Lagoon would also benefit the Welsh economy hugely with thousands of jobs being created, and increasing tourism.
Deal One Step Closer?
The planning that has gone into the project is immense and expensive; Tidal Lagoon PLC (the company behind it) lost £4.2m in 2016 according to their most recent set of accounts. They have now struck an agreement with creditors and shareholders to help pay this debt off.
The company said the deal meant it could continue work on delivering the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project, as they wanted to press on without the need for UK Government financing.
In another (potentially) positive turn in events, the last day of the Labour conference this week saw Jeremy Corbyn promise a ‘green jobs revolution’. He pointed to Labour’s commitment to reduce the UK’s net carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 – and to zero by 2050.
Whilst he didn’t mention Swansea specifically in his speech, he later tweeted “The @Conservatives failing to back the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project was the wrong decision for our economy, the wrong decision for jobs and the wrong decision for the future of our planet.
Labour will back it.”
Value for Money
Llanelli MP Ms Griffith also dismissed UK ministers on Radio Cymru, ruling that the Swansea scheme did not represent value for money. She said “We’ve seen the price of oil rising and rising, so its important for climate change and for the economy.
“The fact is the price has come down and down – and there’s no risk at all to the government because you don’t pay until the electricity is ready,” she said.
“The investment to create the lagoon doesn’t come from the government. This is done to start with and you don’t pay until you get the electricity.
“And the fact is the electricity from so many other sources will increase in cost. The price is value for money now – and it will become more so [value for money].
“The tide comes and goes. It’s regular. You know what you’ll get from it. There’s not a lot of maintenance and so on. It’s value for money.”
Whilst there are no guarantees that the Swansea Tidal Lagoon will ever come off, the fact that it is still being actively discussed is a small ray of hope that our future generations can benefit from today’s efforts.