The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) says that power-generating tidal lagoons offer the ‘complete package’ of long lifespan, high flexibility, and very high energy predictability.
The ECA has submitted its views to the Hendry Review, an independent analysis requested by the government in February this year to delay making a decision over the £1bn Swansea Bay project. [See our previous report here.]
The ECA has told the review that tidal power could ‘help the UK to face the considerable challenge of maintaining UK energy capacity and security, while meeting carbon reduction targets’.
Director of business Paul Reeve commented: “To help Britain to keep the lights – and everything else – on, the UK desperately needs investment in predictable renewable energy capacity. A key part of the UK's low carbon energy mix has to be renewables, and tidal power offers the opportunity for Britain to be world leaders in this increasingly attractive route to electrical energy production and energy storage.
“The ECA urges the government to show its commitment to energy security and tackling climate change by supporting a potentially game changing renewable energy sector in Wales.”
There are proposals for six tidal lagoons to be built across the UK, with Swansea potentially the first location. The six together could provide 8% of current UK energy demand. Cost of the Swansea project is comparable with a nuclear power station, the ECA said, but the cost of subsequent lagoons is expected to fall sharply due to anticipated cost savings and efficiencies.
The ECA’s 2,800 members range from small electrical firms to national engineering and building services contractors.