Enough offshore wind to match the power generation as a programme of tidal lagoons is currently estimated to cost at least GBP 31.5 billion less to build, according to UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.
The statement comes after the UK Government rejected the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon proposal, stating that it does not meet the requirements for value for money.
Namely, as Secretary Clark said, the same power generated by the GBP 1.3 billion-worth lagoon over the period of 60 years would cost around GBP 400 million for offshore wind even at today’s prices, which have fallen and are expected to be cheaper in the future.
Analysts advised that, taking all costs into consideration, the proposed tidal lagoon, which would generate around 30TWh per year, could by 2050 cost up to GBP 20 billion more to produce compared to generating the same electricity via a mix of offshore wind and nuclear, once financing, operating, and system costs have been considered.
In terms of energy reliability, the generation of electricity would be variable rather than constant with a load factor of 19% compared to around 50% for offshore wind, Clark said.
The decision to refuse the subsidies for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project comes 18 months after the Government-commissioned review into the tidal lagoon industry in the UK, conducted by the country’s former Energy Minister Charles Hendry, supported the wider industry and the now-rejected “pathfinder” Swansea project.
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