PM voices cost doubts over Swansea Bay tidal barrier scheme

Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed concerns about the high cost of building the Swansea Bay Tidal. 

Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, he voiced his concerns about the £1bn project to harness tidal power in the Bristol Channel.

Construction has already been delayed by a year and discussions with the government are ongoing over the amount of subsidy it will contribute to bring down the cost of electricity generated from the scheme. Those talks are deadlocked over the high price being asked for.

During evidence to Parliament’s Liason Committee, Cameron said: “I can see the strength of the argument for tidal power, because one of the problems with renewables is whether they can provide base-load power. Tidal can because the tide is always going in or out."

However, the prime minister said that tidal power had a problem because its cost was currently too high and it needed to address this. “That is the challenge for tidal," said Cameron.  "They are very long-term schemes with big investments up front and can last for many, many years, but right now my enthusiasm is reduced slightly by the fact that the cost would be quite high.”

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