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Thread: More evidence that the government only cares for nukes & corporations, not people

  1. #1
    Banjo Duellist, 8th Dan
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    Aug 2003
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    More evidence that the government only cares for nukes & corporations, not people

    £1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project thrown out

    The Hendry review said the lagoon would make a "strong contribution" to energy supplies

    Plans to build the world's first tidal power lagoon have been thrown out by the UK government.

    Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the £1.3bn project was not value for money, despite claims by developers Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) a revised offer made it cheaper.

    The decision has been slammed by local politicians across the parties, including the Conservatives.

    The scheme off Swansea Bay had £200m backing from the Welsh Government.

    But the UK government said it would not pay TLP the fee it wants for energy.

    TLP claimed no talks have taken place for more than a year and said supporters of the project have vowed to do what they can to make it a reality.
    ◾How the tidal lagoon numbers crunched
    ◾Lagoon decision 'crushing blow' for Wales
    ◾Q&A: Swansea Bay tidal lagoon
    ◾16 months since lagoon-minister meeting

    Mr Clark told the Commons: "Securing our energy needs into the future has to be done seriously and, when much cheaper alternatives exist, no individual project, and no particular technology, can proceed at any price."

    Government analysis estimated that the lagoon would cost the average British household consumer an addition £700 between 2031 and 2050.

    But TLP chief executive Mark Shorrock said the figures were wrong, adding that offshore wind projects had received £8bn in subsidies and the "path finder" tidal lagoon project needed £25m a year "in order to kick start an industry".

    "It's a very, very sad day for Wales, for Swansea," he told BBC Radio Wales' Good Evening Wales programme.

    He told ITV Wales the scheme "can't be dead in the water - we must build this project".

    First Minister Carwyn Jones tweeted that it was a "crushing blow to Wales".

    Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: "I realise the disappointment this decision may cause, but ultimately this project did not meet the threshold for taxpayer value."

    There have been a number of calls among Labour MPs for Mr Cairns to go but he told the BBC Wales Today programme he was proud of his record.

    Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, speaking in an interview on Good Evening Wales, said: "Wales has not had an effective voice at the cabinet table."

    Skip Twitter post by @fmwales


    End of Twitter post by @fmwales

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    Media captionCarolyn Harris: "You will never understand the frustration and anger in my city"

    Plaid Cymru's energy spokesperson, Liz Saville Roberts MP, said the UK government's "decision demonstrates the need for Wales to gain greater control over its own future".

    Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds called the decision a "disgrace", as did Gower Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi.

    The announcement brings an end to 18 months of waiting since an independent review, commissioned by the ministers, recommended building the lagoon.

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    Media captionGreg Clark said the lagoon did not meet "value for money" requirements

    The review by former energy minister Charles Hendry said Swansea should be used as a test of the technology, before allowing other developers to bid to construct further schemes as part of a competitive tendering process.

    The UK government has been accused of dragging its heels since then, during which time they repeatedly stated the scheme must prove "value for money".

    Artist impression of lagoonImage copyright TLP
    TLP claims the Swansea project would provide power to 155,000 properties in Wales and is cheaper than nuclear power.

    The developers had previously asked for a 90-year contract with the UK government with an average strike price - a guaranteed price for the electricity generated - of £89.90 per megawatt hour.

    The new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset was given a strike price of £92.50/MWh for 35 years.


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    Media captionWatch Tidal Lagoon Power's video of how the turbines would work

    Analysis by Brian Meechan, BBC Wales business correspondent

    This was a project that seemed at one point to have widespread and almost universal support in Wales.

    It required the UK government to agree a significant strike price - a subsidy paid by consumers through energy bills - although the exact amount varied depending on the length of time that price was set for and whether other taxpayer funding was invested in the project.

    The independent report by Charles Hendry was very supportive of the tidal lagoon. However, it also said that doing a full, value for money, assessment was beyond its scope.

    In recent months, some in the business community have been privately raising concerns about the cost of the project and its impact on energy bills.

    While Tidal Lagoon Power and the Welsh Government now say it is the same price as nuclear power, the UK government insist it is double.

    However, the goalposts have moved. There was huge criticism of the UK government over the price for energy struck for the new nuclear plant across the water at Hinkley Point. With a pledge not to commit bill payers to such costs again, even getting the cost of the lagoon to a similar figure was unlikely to be good enough.

    It seems, ultimately, that UK ministers do not have confidence that the lagoon developers are able to deliver the project at the price they now think is reasonable for consumers to pay. Especially as other options such as wind energy come in at a much lower cost.

    Tidal lagoon: The timeline

    2003: Plans first emerge for a £30m tidal power project in Swansea Bay from a green energy charity

    2006: Tidal Electric Ltd prepares a scoping report for a lagoon to take the project on but it is put on hold

    2012: Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) unveils its ambition to develop a breakwater and power generation

    2013: TLP starts developing its plans

    2014: Plans submitted to Planning Inspectorate with a cost of £850m

    2015: Proposals get backing of UK government, subject to subsidy agreement - hope it could be operational by 2018

    2016: Report warns of impact on fish. Charles Hendry is appointed to lead independent review into £1.3bn lagoon's viability

    2017: Hendry review backs the lagoon as a "no regrets" option but the UK government is still to decide

    2018: Delays, mostly believed to be over arguments over value for money. Welsh Government also offers substantial investment, as does Wales Pension Partnership

    Shadow business minister Bill Esterson said the government should be "ashamed" at what Mr Clark told MPs.

    Responding to the statement in the Commons, he said: "This is indeed shameful. It is another broken promise by the Conservative Party - we've seen lots of those recently too."

    South Wales West Conservative AM Suzy Davies said the rejection was "desperately depressing" for Swansea and the wider region.

    "Since day one, we've been incredibly supportive of the concept and worked tirelessly to make it a reality," she said.

    Ian Price, director of business group CBI Wales, said: "We appreciate the effort and energy made by politicians from both governments who have worked tirelessly to try and make this project a reality. At the end of the day, any project has to be affordable for consumers."

    David Clubb, a director at RenewableUK Cymru, the trade body for all renewable energy, said: "This means that the region will not benefit from many thousands of jobs from the project and the associated supply chain."
    this project was recommended by the government's own independent review
    it is cheaper
    it is VASTLY safer
    than nuclear
    so why not?
    as I've pointed out for ages lot of it's about corruption, keeping people owned by corporations and making nuclear weapons (keeping a source of plutonium production)

    original plan was for a massive barrier or series of barriers on the Severn which has some of the world's highest tides and would have powered an enormous area, free from external fuel sources, safely
    When the Old Guard dies,
    The cowards in the shadow rise,
    Their vile plots of cowardice and greed,
    Poison the land and nightmares arise,
    To terrorize and murder the common man.

    (and as usual, please forgive typos and crankiness if possible)

  2. #2
    No prison can hold me!
    Schezar's Avatar
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    Jun 2003

    Re: More evidence that the government only cares for nukes & corporations, not people

    If it's such a great plan and a sweet deal, why not go for independent investors and get it up and running? Then just sell the electricity to make the money back?
    I *AM* the Chinpokomon master!

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