June 25, 2018 / 4:54 PM / 6 months ago

Britain scraps 1.3 billion pound plan for world's first tidal lagoon

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will not go ahead with a 1.3 billion pound ($1.7 billion) plan to build the world’s first tidal power lagoon because it does not offer value for money, Business Minister Greg Clark said on Monday.

Britain had been considering building what would have been the world’s first such project, a 9.5 km (6 mile) horseshoe-shaped sea wall to capture tidal power - in part to replace aging coal and nuclear plans set to close in the 2020s.

The project would have been built in Swansea, Wales, by a project developer Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, to drive turbines as the water passed through them on the tide.

“The inescapable conclusion of an extensive analysis is that ... the costs that would be incurred by consumers and taxpayers would be so much higher than alternative sources of low carbon power, that it would be irresponsible to enter into a contract with the provider,” Clark told parliament.

Clark said the project would have provided around 0.15 percent of the electricity the country uses each year, and that it could generate the same amount for less with offshore wind or nuclear power.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by David Evans

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