Offshore Industry News

Delays, Dickering Over Swansea Tidal Lagoon Project

As reported in BBC News and other sources, leaders from Wales and the UK Government are having a difficult time agreeing on the funding and subsequent schedule of the the £1bn Swansea tidal lagoon project.


Swansea Bay has average tidal range during spring tides of 8.5 meters, which is among the highest in the world. The construction of a tidal lagoon to harness this natural resource would help the UK transition a low carbon future. Developers say that project will result the world’s first, man-made, energy-generating lagoon, with a 320MW installed capacity and 14 hours of reliable generation every day. It has the potential to power over 155,000 homes for 120 years and would be connected to the UK National Grid. They also believe the project would provide coastal flood protection.

Edwina Hart, Welsh Economy Minister stresses that a government subsidy is needed because the project has found it difficult to attract investment.

In comments to the BBC, Hart said, "The tidal lagoon project, if they can't get certainty on strike price it's going to be very difficult for investment. We haven't got clarity on the UK government's energy policies which makes it very difficult for the sector and we can't afford to have that.”

She vowed to press both the UK government and Wales Office Minister, Lord Bourne on the subject.

However, others, such as Welsh Assembly Member Altaf Hussain have gone on record stating that caution should continue before making such a major upfront investment. Even if the cost of future tidal lagoons will drop, Hussain told the South Wales Evening Post that, "Given the challenging economic climate the government should not rush into a strike price that disadvantages the taxpayer and ultimately peoples' energy bills."

Meanwhile, the firm behind the project claims delays could prove catastrophic. Ioan Jenkins, Tidal Lagoon Power development director, would not name the subsidy amount his company needed to be confident moving forward, but he told BBC Wales that, “The challenge for everybody is it’s the first of its kind in the world.”

Jenkins’ company has moved their start date back to 2017, with some small-scale onshore works beginning late in 2016. They have also altered the construction period from three to four years, which means the earliest the project’s sixteen generators could produce power from its sixteen turbines is now 2021, and that is only if there are no further delays.

UK government officials have repeatedly stated that caution is needed, due to the significant investment wanted by both taxpayers and consumers.

For more information, click here

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science

ECO Magazine is a marine science trade publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997

Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.