What a day for Wales and the building of a Welsh Powerhouse.
Thank you everyone in Swansea and Port Talbot for supporting Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Thank you to all the experts who contributed work to the 5000 pages of planning application.
Thank you to the UK and Welsh authorities for their robust and professional consideration of our proposals. Thank you to the tidal lagoon team that has worked tirelessly to get us here.
Wales led the way providing the fuel for the industrial revolution. We are now entering the era of the climate change revolution – de-carbonising our world in time to avoid two degrees of global warming – Wales can now lead this next revolution.
In the run up to the Paris talks on a global climate change deal, a deal to steer global emissions from 50bn tonnes CO2e down to 40bn tonnes CO2e by 2030 and 20bn tonnes by 2050, the UK and especially Wales has opened a new door to help answer the greatest challenge of our age.
With the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon becoming a reality, locking in 120 year life, zero carbon energy infrastructure, we have the potential to help transform our industrial economy and the UK’s energy mix.
From Rugby to Pembroke Dock, from Sheffield to Swansea Bay, from Chepstow to Port Talbot, companies are working in the supply chain to prepare for the delivery of a new approach to energy infrastructure.
Through a single project we have the opportunity to create a whole new industry. And in a single step, that project can take us to low cost, renewable energy on a nuclear scale.
We see it as a game-changer, a scalable blueprint, paving the way for a fleet of lagoons that can work in harmony with nature to help secure the nation’s electricity for generations to come.
The tidal lagoons that follow – at Cardiff, at Newport, elsewhere in the UK and overseas – must each make their own compelling social, environmental and economic case to proceed.
But they have a pilot project to guide them and a blossoming technical and industrial network to support them.
We’ll create an opportunity for the local community and ordinary people across the country to part-own the lagoon, should they wish to do so, later in the year.
It seems a very long time ago that we first set out our vision to the people of Swansea Bay: the international class sporting facilities and events; the opportunities for employment and leisure; the visitor facilities and tourism potential; the incubation of new ventures in mariculture and conservation; the blank canvass for art and learning, for culture and interaction; the Sunday stroll along the lagoon wall.
We now have some further permissions to secure and must successfully conclude CFD negotiations on our way to financial close, but the vision is now closer to reality than ever before and our delivery team is readying itself to start on site and start delivering for Swansea Bay next spring.
Mark Shorrock is chief executive of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay