Tidal lagoons could play a competitive role as part of the UK’s energy mix, helping to deliver a low-carbon, secure supply of energy, an independent review has said today.
The final report released today by former energy minister Charles Hendry from the independent review of tidal power incorporated a number of recommendations made by the RTPI.
The RTPI provided evidence to the review its advice on the planning of nationally significant infrastructure projects, along with the social and environmental considerations. Many of the Institute’s recommendations were included in the review’s final report, including the need for a new National Policy Statement (NPS) on tidal power in order to provide clarity on government policy for this emerging industry.
James Harris, Policy and Networks Manager said:
“We’re pleased to see so many of the RTPI’s recommendations incorporated into the final report, including a review of the differences in the infrastructure planning and consenting regimes between England and Wales. The review agreed with the RTPI, indicating a new National Policy Statement would help, coupled with greater information-sharing and agreed timescales between the bodies in Wales responsible for granting planning consents for lagoon projects and associated works.
The RTPI highlighted the lack of real-world evidence on the impact of tidal lagoons on the marine environment. The Institute, along with other industry bodies, recommended the pathfinder tidal lagoon project at Swansea be subject to in-depth monitoring during construction and operation, with a lag before any larger lagoons are approved. This approach was also endorsed by the Hendry Review.
The Swansea Bay tidal project, also endorsed in the final report, would be is the first lagoon of its kind in the world. The 2014 RTPI Cymru Wales Planning Award commended Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd for their pre-application public consultation and engagement for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project.