A new Cebr report published today assesses the economic benefits that could be derived from Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.’s proposed construction of six tidal lagoons across the United Kingdom. Key findings from the study include:
- The construction of the six proposed lagoons could contribute a total of £27 billion to UK GDP over the twelve year construction period, sustaining an annual average of 36,000 jobs over the period and up to 71,000 jobs at its peak.
- Once fully operational, the lagoons could contribute £3.1 billion in GDP annually over the 120-year design life and could produce enough energy to power almost 8 million homes.
- 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.
Douglas McWilliams, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Centre for Economic and Business Research, said: “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. 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.
“What this study demonstrates is that, not only does a tidal lagoon industry have the potential to make a significant contribution to the UK economy, but that it can also help secure our energy independence for many years to come. As such, the study is an important and timely contribution to the debate on this country’s energy future.”
Mark Shorrock, CEO of Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd., added: “The UK will soon decide whether or not to embrace tidal lagoon infrastructure. 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.”
“To realise this opportunity in full, we will have to marry economic benefit with environmental sensitivity and social acceptance. Our proposals for Swansea Bay have proved that this can be done and establish a blueprint for an infrastructure roll-out that we now know could account for ten percent or more of UK growth.”
John Cridland, Director-general at the CBI, said: “We urgently need to upgrade our energy infrastructure, we need to capture greater value from green investments, and we need to re-balance our economy away from the South East. This report paints a compelling picture for the potential contribution of tidal lagoon infrastructure in each of these areas. We have the resource and we have the industry. The question is, do we have the resolve?”