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Hendry Review

Volume 624: debated on Wednesday 26 April 2017

9. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the date of publication for the Government response to the Hendry review on tidal lagoons. (909717)

I have been in close discussions with Cabinet colleagues about our response to the Hendry review, which we are actively considering. Any potential energy project that can contribute to a clean, secure and diverse energy mix for the UK is worthy of serious consideration. Projects of this scale must also meet the essential requirement of delivering value for money for the taxpayer.

The Henry report very much supports a tidal lagoon in Swansea, which has the second highest rise and fall of tide in the world. We should be harnessing that tide. Does the Secretary of State see that as part of the Conservative manifesto for this general election?

My hon. Friend is right to recognise that natural resources in Wales can play a significant role in the energy mix of not only Wales but the UK. We would like this type of project to succeed, but of course it needs to be value for money for the taxpayer.

Why are the Government so reluctant to embrace Wales’s equivalent of North sea power: tidal energy, which is entirely predictable, eternal and free, and would provide a bonanza of jobs?

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will recognise that it was this Government’s early actions in 2015 that led to planning permission being granted for the project that he highlights. As I said, we would like this type of project to succeed, but it must be value for money. Above all, we need strong and stable leadership to provide the economic security to pay for any such project.