Citizens Advice has issued a response to call for evidence regarding Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon proposal stating that it believes the proposal offers bad value for money and that the entire consultation process is not transparent.
In the Consultation response it is stated that the bilateral negotiations between the government and developers is ‘inherently opaque’, and that the negotiations over the CFD (contract for difference) allocation process will prevent the public to object to the contract, since it will already be signed off by the time it is available for the public, due to the confidentiality terms.
According to the report, it is unclear on which basis the government is to decide whether to award the contract or not.
The subsidized price of GBP 168 for MW/h with contract duration of 35 years that Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon developers are thought to be seeking represents ‘appalling value for money’ much higher than the current market price of power, Consultation response states.
“Such long term contracts are against the interests of consumers – especially when many of their critical terms are kept secret – and should be avoided wherever possible,” the report states.
Citizens Advice points out that that investments in projects that are not ‘immediately cost-effective low-carbon generating sources’ are only justifiable when additional research and development knowledge is gained. The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project developers have stated that they do not anticipate any technology learning to come as a result of the investment, Consulation response reads.
Citizens Advice concludes that the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project has ‘significant weaknesses’ and if the changes in the prices and benefits do not occur, the outcome of the consultation process should be the rejection of the application.
The Citizens Advice is a consumer charity service that provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities, and aims to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.
Image: Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay