Response To Mark Shorrock’s Letter
By Paul Homewood
Last week, the Sunday Telegraph printed this letter from Mark Shorrock, Chief Exec of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, in reponse to Booker’s piece the week before:
SIR – We can at least agree with Christopher Booker on one point: the non-negotiable need to act on climate change has led to the possibility of tidal lagoon power stations in Britain.
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is a vision of how to replace part of our ageing power station fleet with low-cost, reliable power that revitalises industrial heartlands and coastal areas.
We talk about a Britain that works for everybody. But the electricity we use creates too much work for others and not enough for Britain. We generate electricity from coal (mostly imported), natural gas (of which more than half is imported) and biomass (at scale, all imported). Our new nuclear technology is imported, our wind turbines are mostly imported, as are our solar panels. When we pay our electricity bills, we are nominally paying a domestic retailer (60 per cent foreign-owned) but supporting other countries’ energy industries.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We have more tidal resources than any other country. And we now have a means of meeting up to 12 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs using the rise and fall of the tides. The turbines, generators and turbine housings for these projects will be made in Britain, capturing 84p in every £1 spent for a new, home-grown industry.
Starting at Swansea Bay, tidal lagoons will generate electrons that work for Britain and bring down bills.
Chief Executive, Tidal Lagoon
Fortunately, the Telegraph allowed me to correct certain misleading statements of his, publishing my letter yesterday:
SIR – Mark Shorrock (Letters, December 11) says the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will provide low-cost power.
Yet by his company’s own admission, the electricity it produces will cost as much as Hinkley Point. And for what? Intermittent power that will meet a pitiful percentage of Britain’s needs.
Mr Shorrock says the project will create jobs – but the best way to do this is to provide cheap, reliable energy.
It’s not often that the Telegraph print corrections to statements made by the great and the good, so all credit to them on this occasion.