Swansea tidal lagoon: Leading Greens accuse the Government of "unacceptable dithering"

14 July 2017

Wales Green Party leader, Grenville Ham, and Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, wrote to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Wednesday. The Green Party Leaders are concerned that “unacceptable dithering” is putting the planned Swansea tidal lagoon project in jeopardy.

 

 Grenville Ham said:

 

“This UK Government is holding Wales back.

"The Swansea tidal lagoon should be the corner stone for a new Welsh economy - spiraling out we could see new businesses, skilled jobs and 21st century innovation. But the Conservative Party is dithering on whether to support this excellent economic opportunity for Wales. 

We know that renewable energy is going to be one of the main areas of global economic growth over the next 50 years. We know Green Tech is the next industrial revolution and that the Tidal Lagoon can provide the blueprint for Welsh technology being exported to the world for the next 100 years.

But the UK government is instead supporting technologies that should be consigned to the dustbin of history and are tearing up almost all support for clean energy. We have seen investment in British renewable energy fall off a cliff with a 95% decline in 2 years.  

The rest of the world are surging ahead and investing in this next industrial revolution - creating skilled jobs and driving down their carbon emissions – but Wales is being left behind.

It’s hugely frustrating to see this failure to give the Tidal Lagoon the go ahead and to jumpstart the new Welsh economy. It’s the only logical decision according to the Hendry Review.

 

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and Grenville Ham, leader of the Green Party of Wales, wrote to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Wednesday to raise concerns over the delay and demand a date the government will respond to the Hendry review and make a final decision. The lagoon’s investors have put further funding on hold [1] as the government is yet to approve or even respond to the review by former minister Charles Hendry, which was published over six months ago [2].

 

Notes:

 

  1. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/money-drying-up-swansea-tidal-13306328
  2. https://wales.greenparty.org.uk/news/2017/01/12/wales-green-party-welcomes-positive-findings-of-hendry-review-on-swansea-lagoon/
  3. Full text of the letter:

     

    Dear Rt. Hon Greg Clark MP

     

    We have been extremely concerned by this week’s reports that investors might withdraw from the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project if it is not shortly approved by Government.

     

    As Green Party leaders, we strongly support the transition to renewable power across the UK. Therefore, we are writing to urge you to give investors the clarity that they need.

     

    The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project would be an integral part of the energy revolution this country needs. The independent Hendry review commissioned by the UK government gave a glowing endorsement of the project, highlighting that the energy provided would be less expensive than offshore wind and significantly less expensive than nuclear.

     

    Beyond the lower costs of energy, the project would also create thousands of jobs, it would help to kick-start a new industry, and it would make a valuable contribution to our decarbonisation targets. In contrast to Hinkley, the tidal lagoon would also be on grid sooner, would be in operation for longer, and would carry significantly less environmental risk.

     

    The report - which unambiguously called for strong government backing of this project - was published over six months ago. Yet, not only has the government failed to act on its clear recommendations, it has not even published a response. This dithering has resulted in uncertainty over investment, putting this valuable project in jeopardy.

     

    Please will you now provide a firm date for your department’s formal response to the Hendry review and your decision on whether to support the project? In doing so, we hope that you will accept the findings of the Hendry review and accept the wishes of the Welsh Government by approving this project.

     

    Yours sincerely,

     

    Jonathan Bartley

    Co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

     

    Grenville Ham

              Leader of the Wales Green Party

 






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