Welsh gits looking for the craziest ‘green? project ever

This has got to be quite possibly the craziest ‘green’ project ever.

If you wanted a single example of how far all those who aspire to govern us after this election can lose any touch with reality, a good place to begin might be page 56 of the Conservative manifesto. Here, in a section on ?Energy?, we are told how the Coalition Government has ?unlocked ?59 billion of investment? to produce ?low carbon? electricity to meet our commitments under Ed Miliband?s Climate Change Act. All the projects listed are, of course, hugely subsidised, to produce power costing us all twice or three times as much as that from conventional power stations. But there at the end is a mention of ?the Swansea tidal lagoon?.

I admit that, until recently, I had no more idea what this was about than 99 per cent of the population. But I was struck by the remarkable array of backers this scheme has attracted, from the Prudential insurance company and Ed Davey, our Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to George Osborne in his recent Budget speech, and the BBC, which has been giving it excitable puffs. ??

Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), the company behind the scheme, is proposing to ship 3.2 million tons of stone from a disused Cornish quarry to south Wales, to enclose a vast area of Swansea Bay in a six-mile breakwater. At the sea end, 16 giant turbines will then use power from rising and falling tides to generate ?zero-carbon? electricity for 14 hours a day.

TLP insists that its ?1 billion scheme will only work if it is allowed to charge for its electricity at 330 per cent of the normal wholesale price of ?50 per megawatt hour (MWh). This would give it a subsidy of ?118 per MWh, even more than that for offshore wind, making it easily the most expensive electricity in the world.

How on earth is this project even getting off the ground? Is the Hawkes Bay Regional Council advising them?

All of these so-called green projects require massive subsidies to even get off the ground…then in a few years time they will be mothballed because they simply don’t work. It’s a scam.

But even more interesting is how much electricity we would be getting for our money. It makes one wonder if all those politicians have actually done their sums. All TLP reveals on its website is that the Swansea Bay scheme will generate ?495,000 MWh a year?. To Ed Davey and Co, this may sound a lot. But divide it out and the average output would be just 57MW. Compared to that of even a modest conventional power station, this scarcely registers.

The ?1 billion gas-fired power plant that opened two years ago along the Welsh coast near Pembroke can, without a penny of subsidy, generate 2,000MW or 35 times as much. Even allowing for the cost of the gas, the comparison is laughable. And, of course, the pitiful output from Swansea, varying wildly while it is working, and producing nothing for 10 hours a day, would ? to keep our lights on ? need constant back-up from those fossil-fuel power stations that our politicians say they want to see closed down in pursuit of the ?decarbonised? economy they prattle about without having the faintest idea what this means.

What it means is it is a scam.


– The Telegraph