BEIS committee to take evidence on Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee and the Welsh Affairs Committee are to scrutinise the decision-making process for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project. Rachel Reeves, BEIS committee chair, said: “The Swansea Tidal Lagoon project has been a tale of indecision with the Government having dithered over this for five years and still to reply to the Hendry Review, published over a year ago. The Government consistent failure to give a clear indication of whether they will provide taxpayer support has left investors in limbo. In this inquiry, we are keen to explore the decision-making process, to get clarity on the next steps for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, and how government can learn the lessons for future projects of this kind.”

The Committees will examine the steps and stakeholders involved in the decision process and the reasons for the Government’s failure to reach a decision on whether it will support the Lagoon, since exploratory discussions with the Government began in 2013. 

In a session tomorrow (Wednesday 9 May), the Committees will hear from witnesses including Rt Hon Charles Hendry, author of an independent review into the planned Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, and from the RSPB, Tidal Lagoon Power, energy consultancy Aurora Energy Research Ltd, and from Natural Resources Wales and The Crown Estate.

At a second session the Committees will question stakeholders and Ministers from the Welsh and UK Governments on progress made towards reaching a final decision.

David T.C. Davies, Welsh Affairs Committee Chair, said: “At this point, the Swansea Tidal Lagoon has that all too familiar feeling of an infrastructure project which appears to offer much, but there are still serious questions to be asked about the value for money of the project, and possible environmental impacts.

“Without backing from the Welsh and UK Government the Tidal Lagoon will not progress. The UK Government continue to delay deciding on whether to support this project, and while the Welsh Government has offered funding to kick-start the project, this offer lacks detail. This session will help us understand if that backing would be worthwhile.”

Further reading

From the archive: Swansea’s tidal lagoon – how does it work and where are the costs?

Questions over Swansea Bay lagoon must not delay other tidal power opportunities, say developers

OPINION: Tidal power can help cut carbon emissions

Welsh government offers cash to kick-start Swansea tidal project

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