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Clean Power Construction Of Six Tidal Lagoons Could Contribute £27 Billion To The UK Economy

Published on July 18th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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Construction Of Six Tidal Lagoons Could Contribute £27 Billion To The UK Economy

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July 18th, 2014 by  

Construction Of Six Tidal Lagoons Could Contribute £27 Billion To The UK EconomyThe Centre for Economics and Business Research in the UK has published a report assessing the benefits that would come from Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed construction of six tidal lagoons across the country.

The proposed construction would contribute £27 billion to the UK economy over the twelve-year period, employing an annual average of 36,000 over the period and up to 71,000 jobs at its peak. Upon completion, the lagoons would not only produce enough energy to power almost 8 million homes, but it would also contribute £3.1 billion annually over the 120-year design life.

“The UK will soon decide whether or not to embrace tidal lagoon infrastructure,” said Mark Shorrock, CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power. “Having analysed all of the costs and all of the savings associated with this decision, this study clearly demonstrates that the annual benefits to the national economy would be enormous, immediate and long-lived.”

Further highlights from the CEBR report include:

  • Taking into account the balance of payments effect, the operation of the lagoons could create or sustain as many as 40,000 jobs, contribute £5.8bn in GDP per year to the UK economy and account for 0.24% of annual GDP
  • Construction of the lagoons will involve sourcing a high proportion of components from within the UK, which will ensure that the investment programme delivers one of the best returns in terms of GDP impact per pound invested across the entire energy sector.
  • The export of tidal lagoon electricity and of the components and expertise to support the delivery of tidal lagoon projects abroad, combined with a reduction in fossil fuel imports, could increase net exports by as much as £3.7 billion per year by 2040, equivalent to 13% of the current trade deficit.

The report also highlights the benefits that tidal lagoons will bring to the local areas in which they are built:

  • With the majority of the lagoons due to be based in relatively deprived areas, construction and operation will provide a much-needed stimulus to local economies, especially as a high proportion of the associated economic benefits are forecast to remain in-region.
  • Tidal lagoons could also offer a solution to the coastal flooding problems that have been endured in areas where it is planned to locate the lagoons.

“Tidal lagoon is not the only renewable technology being deployed in the UK but it could be the important missing piece in the energy generation mix,” Douglas McWilliams, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Centre for Economic and Business Research, said. “In contrast to wind and solar, it produces totally predictable power 14 hours a day, reducing the cost of stand-by generators. The electricity it produces is expected to be cheaper than offshore wind and similar in cost to new nuclear.

RenewableUK Wave and Tidal Development Manager Dee Nunn said: “This report shows the huge potential value of tidal lagoons to the UK. This technology alone could produce as much of 8% of the UK’s electricity needs, and create jobs and growth. However, for the tidal sector to really flourish, there needs to be a clear vision for the role of the technology in our future energy needs, which means looking beyond 2020”.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



  • Matt

    “The electricity it produces is expected to be cheaper than offshore wind and similar in cost to new nuclear” The only new nuclear in the UK is very costly.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Yesterday I paid under $2 US a watt for solar to be installed on my parent’s roof. All up I paid $1.30 US a watt after subsidy. At $2 US a watt and a 5% discount rate rooftop solar will produce green power at around the current retail cost of grid electricity in England. Considerably less than the price of new nuclear and I am certain that it is only a matter of time before we start seeing $1 a watt rooftop solar installations. Just to be clear I am not saying Britain should go 100% solar, but I am saying do the cheaper things first. It’s common sense really.

  • Wayne Williamson

    This sounds like an awesome project with great benefits. Kind of wondering what the tide is like in these areas….5 meters, 10 meters…just wondering.

  • Doug Cutler

    Neither here nor there but perhaps interesting to note that tidal energy, insofar as it draws upon the motion of celestial bodies, represents a means of tapping into the residual momentum of the Big Bang itself. In that sense its even more primal than solar.

    • Wayne Williamson

      Just a little deep there since everything ties back to it, so basically you could say everything/anything taps the results of the big bang…just say’n. Not saying your wrong, just a little deep for most people;-)

  • phoenix

    Kind-of strange article. Is the money for the project coming from outside the UK? If not, the project contributes neither money nor jobs, because any domestic investment will displace other uses of the same money.

    Also, for me, the most important fact is missing, which is the amount of energy per year this project will deliver.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “the project contributes neither money nor jobs”

      If the project gets built then jobs are created.

      If money comes in from an outside source that frees money for other in-country projects. More money washes around the local economy.

      If the profit flows outside the country, then people inside the country blew it.

  • JamesWimberley

    No mention of prices in the pitch, so they are presumably quite high. But then, the British government is willing to make consumers pay well over the odds for offshore wind to protect their tender eyes from the horror of onshore wind farms.

    Tidal energy doesn’t fit into the conventional categories of intermittent, baseload (run-all-the-time) and despatchable. It’s variable, but the tides are 100.00% predictable and reliable, over horizons far exceeding the life of any man-made structure. A lagoon system presumably has some extra flexibility to respond to load, but not much.

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