- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Press Releases
MIKE HEDGES AM QUESTIONS THE ENVIRONMENT CABINET SECRETARY ABOUT THE UNFAIRNESS OF COMPARING THE COSTS OF FIRST TIDAL LAGOON PROJECT WITH ALREADY ESTABLISHED NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY.
Speaking after the Plenary at the Assembly, Mike Hedges said…. ‘ in addition to the ongoing delays in the announcements to do with the Tidal Lagoon, I have been very frustrated by the unfair comparison in costs between the Swansea Tidal Lagoon and the Nuclear Power station at Hinkley. Generating electricity from a tidal lagoon and there are bound to be higher costs at the start of such a technology which will reduce when the technology is proven and other similar projects follow. The costs of the Nuclear plants at Hinkley are based on technology that has been around for decades. It is also the case that the costs of decommissioning these plants is underwritten by the UK Government.
All we ask for in respect of the Lagoon project is for there to be a level playing field and a fair comparison of like for like costs.
Mike Hedges – Does the Cabinet Secretary think it is fair that the cost of building the first tidal lagoon in the world is being compared to nuclear power provision at Hinkley Point, when the first nuclear power plant at Calder Hall was built in 1956, and where decommissioning and disposal costs are capped, and where, if the actual cost exceeds the cap, the cost is being borne by the Government, i.e. us the taxpayer?
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Lesley Griffiths – Thank you, Mike Hedges, for that question, and I again repeat: I have to be very careful in what I say about particular projects—I’m very limited, and that, obviously, includes the proposed tidal lagoon for Swansea bay.57
I think it’s absolutely vital that costs of tidal lagoon power are compared with other technologies on a fair basis—I think you make a very important point—and you have to take into full account the very long life of lagoons, and all other environmental and social effects. The issue of considering the costs, energy outputs and strike price of any energy project is, of course, not a devolved matter, and therefore I think it would be more appropriate for the UK Government, really, to explain the rationale behind the recent comparisons to Hinkley Point C.58
In respect of the comments about Calder Hall, again, nuclear policy decommissioning is a reserved matter, so the UK Government would have to explain their views and how they reached those decisions. We’ve not been party to any detailed discussions with the UK Government and the promoters of tidal lagoon power, for instance, so we don’t know how the cost of the lagoon power compares to other options that they are considering.