THE Welsh Government and Swansea Council should make every effort to deliver the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, Plaid Cymru has said at its annual conference.
The party backed a motion calling for the project to be built at its autumn get-together at Swansea’s Grand Theatre.
The Welsh Government is currently considering a lagoon report by a task force led by the Swansea Bay City Region – a group which includes the council.
The report set out the potential for thousands of floating houses and a solar farm contained within the lagoon seawall, and described the lagoon as “fundamentally a strong and deliverable technical proposition”.
The lagoon itself would generate electricity by holding and then releasing water through underwater turbines on the ebb and flow tides.
Speaking at the conference, Gower parliamentary candidate John Davies said: “Plaid Cymru has long argued that this project has the ability to provide a much needed economic and environmental boost to Swansea and south west Wales, but it will require political will.
“The development is essential as Wales attempts to do our bit to tackle the climate emergency, whilst also looking to provide a vital economic boost to the area.”
A company called Tidal Lagoon Power was given planning consent by the UK Government in 2015 for the Swansea scheme, but it was unable to persuade Westminster to provide a financial package of support for the electricity generated.
Also, no marine licence has been issued to date by Natural Resources Wales.
Swansea’s Labour administration and the city region body it is part of is keen to explore alternative delivery options – and the task force believes the cost of the lagoon seawall and turbines can be brought down.
Speaking last month, council leader Rob Stewart said he anticipated feedback from the Welsh Goverrnment shortly.
“We expect a positive announcement on the next steps for the lagoon in the autumn,” he said.
Plaid’s Mr Davies said: “It is vital that the Welsh Government and Swansea Council now make every effort to support the project, and to do so urgently, before another area takes the lead.”
He also felt the UK Government had let Wales down by declining financial support in 2018, but ministers said the cost of subsidising the lagoon was too expensive.
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