Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, what is its real cost?

The Swansea Bay tidal lagoon debate tends to focus on its cost. The figure usually quoted is £168/MWh for the feed-in tariff or ‘strike price’ needed to enable it to go ahead. If you were wondering where this number came from, how it was derived, and whether it is still correct, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Rebooting marine energy. One year on.

A year ago I wrote a blog post entitled Rebooting Marine Renewables. Its centrepiece was an analysis of the electricity generated by wave and tidal-current plant in the UK as revealed by ROCs and REGOs. Now seems like a good time to update it by taking a fresh snapshot of the data to see what has happened since then. To keep this article short and sweet please read the original post for background and context. The most relevant part is where the graphs of the data are shown.

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An attempted reconstruction of Tidal Lagoon Power’s ‘New Power Cost League Table’

Tidal Lagoon Plc (TLP) has recently published a document called ‘The New Power Cost League Table’ that compares the cost-effectiveness of different electricity generating technologies according to a new measure they have devised that they call ‘lifetime consumer cost per MWh’. Figure 1 shows the league table.

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A critique of anti-renewables rhetoric – part 1

These days more and more people seem to be railing against renewable energy—in the media, on the internet and down the pub. Here are some recent examples:

  • Wind farms ‘will never keep the lights on’: Study claims turbines are ‘expensive and deeply inefficient’ (Daily Mail, 27 October 2014). [Poulter, 2014]
  • Green energy costs ‘far higher than ministers admit’—report claims renewable energy is ‘the most expensive domestic policy disaster in modern British history’ (Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2015). [Gosden, 2015]
  • The windfarm delusion—The government has finally seen through the wind-farm scam – but why did it take them so long? (The Spectator, 3 March 2012). [Ridley, 2012]

This kind of stuff is common in the mainstream media, as the above examples testify. It often contains emotive terms like ‘disaster’ and ‘scam’, as the above examples also testify. The regular drip feed of it seems to be turning ‘Middle England’ against renewables and the government is responding by rolling back the measures it had in place to encourage them. However, I’ve yet to see a fact-based critique of these arguments anywhere. Here’s my attempt fill the gap.

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