Former Energy Minister Charles Hendry has called for a 500MW “pathfinder” project to assess the practicalities of generating electricity from tidal lagoons following his independent review into the technology.

Hendry called on the UK Government to publish a national policy statement in favour of tidal energy.

He said sites should be designated as suitable for development, mirroring the scheme for new nuclear power stations.

An arms-length Tidal Power Authority should also be created to maximise the UK’s tidal power advantage.

Competitive with other low-carbon sources

Hendry said: “Tidal lagoons would help deliver security of supply, they would assist in delivering our decarbonisation commitments and they would bring real and substantial opportunities for the UK supply chain.

“Most importantly, it is clear that tidal lagoons at scale could deliver low-carbon power in a way that is very competitive with other low-carbon sources.

Atlantis Resources, which wants to develop tidal lagoon projects as well as its Meygen tidal stream project, said: “The most important role for tidal barrages and lagoons in Britain is to act as utility-scale grid storage facilities to support deeper penetration of renewables.”

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive at trade body RenewableUK, added: “I would urge the UK Government to look at these opportunities not just in tidal lagoons but for marine renewable energy more generally.”

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