Swansea tidal lagoon will still happen, says Charles Hendry
The Swansea tidal lagoon will still happen despite a year of delays, the man who conducted an independent review into tidal energy has said.
Charles Hendry backed the £1.3bn project in his government-commissioned review published in January 2017.
The UK Government is yet to give the go-ahead, but the Welsh Government has said it will offer “substantial investment”.
But Mr Hendry argued the delay implied the project would still happen.
“The fact the government hasn’t said no is a cause for optimism,” he said.
“I think the easiest thing for a government would have been to say quite early on in the process of reviewing my conclusions, to say we’ve looked at it alongside our other priorities, and this really isn’t the time to do it – they haven’t done that,” he added.
“We’ve had distractions such as a general election, ministerial changes. So inevitably, it has taken the government some time to reach its conclusions, but I still think the case is compelling.”
Mr Hendry’s independent review was published on 12 January 2017, but the scheme’s approval has been delayed over whether it will provide “value for money”.
But he said the £1.3bn cost of the lagoon would equate to “less than 50p a year” per household and it would “be some of the cheapest power” the UK would ever have, once the original capital and investment has been paid off.
However, that is expected to take half of the lagoons lifetime, which could be more than 120 years.