Wales

Swansea tidal energy: Hopes of backing for Dragon Island plan

The island would be shaped like the Welsh dragon Image copyright Icreative

A council leader hopes the Welsh Government will back plans for a dragon-shaped island that could harness tidal energy within the next few weeks.

Rob Stewart has said he wants to make tidal energy in Swansea a reality.

The call comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce plans for investment to rebuild the economy after coronavirus.

Meanwhile, developers of the failed Swansea Bay tidal lagoon say planning permission is still active on the site.

Tidal Power plc launched a £1.2m fundraising scheme, selling shares, in December to pay for work needed to keep alive the planning permission, which otherwise would have lapsed at midnight on Tuesday.

Mark Shorrock, leading the project, said the demolition and site clearing work would "secure in perpetuity" the permissions around Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

An alternative project, Dragon Energy Island emerged from Swansea Bay City Region a year ago.

They would also include 10,000 homes and shops as well as creating energy through underwater turbines and solar panels.

Councils and other public sector bodies would be invited to buy electricity generated by the lagoon for a set number of years.

Supporters have said the new scheme would not require the same level of taxpayer investment as the long-running Tidal Lagoon Powers £1.3bn plans project were rejected by the UK government as being too expensive back in 2018.

Image copyright ICreative
Image caption The new scheme would not need so much investment from the UK government

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We want to see Wales at the forefront of the marine renewable energy sector and we remain open to further discussions about providing support for such a project, at the appropriate time."

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