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Welcoming progress on the tidal barrage

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post

The recent report by Charles Hendry is an important step forward towards establishing Swansea bay as a pioneer for tidal lagoons in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats have long been supportive of the ambitious Tidal Lagoon project, which will help put the UK at the forefront of new green energy technology. If we are to meet our climate change targets, it is vital that we invest up front in this type of scheme.

This report may finally enable us to bring to fulfilment a project that will help to put Swansea on the map. However, there is still some way to go.

The UK Government need to accept the recommendations in the report and agree a price for the electricity that will enable it to proceed. We are also waiting for Natural Resources Wales to determine the marine licence.

Those steps needs to be taken quickly if we are not to lose momentum from the report but, particularly when it comes to the marine licence, the scheme needs to accommodate as far as possible the remaining environmental concerns, particularly with regards to fish populations.

As well as its obvious benefits for Swansea Bay and the wider West Wales economy in terms of employment, regeneration and green tourism, the Tidal Lagoon will serve as a beacon for the future of renewable energy in Wales.

 In the turbulent times in which we live, energy security, alongside food security, should be central objectives of policy. That is a central concern for the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

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