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Tidal lagoons could power all of Wales in future, says council leader

Wales could be entirely powered by renewable energy in future if the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project gets the go-ahead.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

That's the view of Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, who is urging the UK Government to give the £1.3 billion project the green light as soon as possible.

Cllr Stewart says the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has to happen if other similar lagoons are to be constructed across Wales and the rest of the UK. 

If the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon gets the go-ahead, it would sustain more than 2,200 jobs and generate clean, green electricity for Swansea and South West Wales for well over a century.

Cllr Stewart said: "If four lagoons are built in Wales, then it could see Wales easily becoming an entirely renewable energy self-sufficient country. That has to be worth pursuing.

"But other schemes, including that proposed in Cardiff, can't go ahead without a tidal lagoon pathfinder scheme in Swansea, which is why I've recently met with Welsh Government Ministers and the Secretary of State for Wales to press the case for Swansea Bay.

"There is a real chance here for 'Welsh' power that would see our nation's modern economy driven by renewable energy. That would be an extremely attractive proposition for investors in future."

Research shows the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project could attract an extra 100,000 visitors to the local area, also potentially leading to a global export industry in Swansea Bay with the construction of specialist tidal lagoon technology, including turbines.

In each year of operation, the tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay would create 236,000 tonnes worth of carbon savings.

Cllr Stewart said: "The lagoon would be a world first, helping Swansea lead the way in energy, innovation and science. 

"The 'Love the Lagoon' community campaign that's on-going has cross-party political support across South Wales, as well as the backing of the public and leading figures in our academic, cultural, sports and businesses communities, including Sir Stanley Thomas and Nigel Short. It's also won the support of Charles Hendry, the government-appointed independent inspector who submitted his landmark report into the scheme to the UK Government earlier this year. He said the arguments in favour of a green light were compelling in terms of jobs, value for money and the environment.

"This project is too important to be shelved, so we'll start looking at alternative ways of making it happen if the UK Government doesn't give approval soon."

The 'Love the Lagoon' campaign has generated close to 1,000 followers on Facebook with a fortnight of its launch, while hundreds of Twitter followers have also supported the cause.

People who want to participate in the campaign by uploading their videos of support can go to @lovethelagoon on Twitter or Instagram, or to www.facebook.com/lovethelagoon on Facebook.


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