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Government appoints former energy minister Charles Hendry to lead tidal lagoon review

Former energy minister Charles Hendry will lead an independent review into tidal lagoon power in the UK.

Mr Hendry, who was energy minister between 2010 and 2012, will assess the cost-effectiveness of tidal power and its strategic case to be part of the country’s energy mix.

The government said Mr Hendry will bring a “wealth of experience” to the review, which is expected to conclude this autumn.

The review could pave the way for marine work to start at the Swansea Bay plant by March 2017.

Mr Hendry was previously president of the British Institute of Energy Economics and chairman of offshore wind consortium, Forewind.

The £1bn Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project was set to be the first of its kind in the world after energy secretary Amber Rudd gave it the green light last June.

Construction was slated to begin in April but has since been delayed after the government and the client, Tidal Lagoon Power, failed to reach agreement on a strike price in January.

The following month the government launched the review, prompting fears of further delays to the Swansea Bay project.     

Tidal Lagoon Power chief executive Mark Shorrock said at the time that the review should not be a substitute for action and called on the government to agree on a strike price by April.

A strike price of £96 per MW hour over a period of 90 years is currently being considered.

Swansea Bay could pave the way for a wave of tidal lagoons to be built across the UK.

Tidal Lagoon Power has plans for five more plants, including one at Cardiff Bay and one in Port Talbot.

Other firms, including renewables company Ecotricity, have also outlined their intention to develop tidal lagoon plants.

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