A review commissioned by the UK Government has backed plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay following planning consent in 2015.
The plant could provide the country with reliable and clean electricity, offering a secure supply at competitive prices in the long-term.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, former Energy Minister Charles Hendry was quoted as saying: “One of the great advantages is it completely predictable for all time to come; we know exactly when the spring tides and neap tides are going to be every single day for the rest of time.”
Greenpeace's UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “Tidal lagoon energy is the most reliable source of renewable energy for the UK and the Swansea Bay project is an opportunity to lead in generating clean power from Britain's tides.
“Up to now, cost has been considered a barrier but the Hendry report suggests that tidal lagoons can potentially play a cost-effective role in the UK energy mix. And the government should get on with it because it could be the first of a wave of tidal lagoons across the UK, and even internationally.”
Construction of the 320MW project is expected to take five years to complete. It will feature 16 hydro turbines and a six-mile breakwater wall. Once in operation, the facility will be able to produce enough power to supply electricity to 155,000 households over the following 120 years.
Welcoming the review, RenewableUK's chief executive Hugh McNeal said: “Each new tidal lagoon will drive down costs due to economies of scale, benefitting consumers and strengthening the security of our energy supply.
“The UK’s future energy mix will be powered by a broad range of low carbon technologies, which can be delivered by British companies.
“This means investing today in new sources for tomorrow, including marine energy technologies such as wave, tidal stream, and tidal lagoons.”
To date, approximately £35m has been spent on developing Tidal Lagoon Power’s Swansea Bay project.