According to Conservative respondents, tidal power will deliver on top priorities of securing long-term and reliable power
Research released today shows overwhelming backing for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon among Conservative MPs and Councillors, with more than four in five saying they support the project (84% of Conservative councillors and 83% of Conservative MPs).
The ComRes research, commissioned by Tidal Lagoon Power, surveyed 150 MPs from across the UK (61 Conservative), and 303 Conservative councillors across England and Wales.
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which features in the Conservative party manifesto, will be the first power station of its kind in the world, opening up a new option with distinct advantages to the UK energy mix.
It is most important that the UK’s energy choices secure reliable and long-term power, according to Conservative respondents. These are also the attributes they most associate with tidal power.
Across the country, the vast majority of Conservative MPs and Councillors (77% and 81% respectively) recognise the project as a potential first step towards a large new source of power that is both secure and long-term. They agree that its environmental impacts are manageable (82% Conservative MPs and 87% councillors) while its UK supply chain opportunities are high (79% Conservative MPs and 82% councillors).
On cost, 80% of Conservative Councillors and 72% of Conservative MPs think the impact on today’s energy consumer would be relatively small and could be managed. The vast majority also acknowledge a role for subsidies in helping new technologies become competitive (80% Conservative MPs, 71% councillors), a point underlined by clear majorities stating a preference for energy infrastructure investment that may cost today but saves for tomorrow (64% Conservative MPs, 77% councillors).
Gower MP Byron Davies said: “This research supports what I have witnessed first-hand in Westminster and that is the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project has a strong base of support amongst Conservative MP’s. I held an event for this project in the Houses of Parliament and it was striking how much support the project has not just from Welsh MP’s but from Members from across the United Kingdom. There is a genuine cross party consensus building on the potential of tidal lagoon technology and I look forward to continuing these cross party efforts in support of this project in the near future.”
Katharine Peacock, MD at ComRes: “This research demonstrates the clear consensus of support among Conservative MPs and councillors for construction of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. There is a consensus around the need to invest in energy infrastructure now to develop cheaper energy in the future. Not only do Conservative politicians feel that tidal power delivers on their energy priorities of providing a long-term, sustainable source, they also view Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon as a project which has the potential to open the UK to a significant means of generating low carbon power.”
Andy Field, Head of Communications at Tidal Lagoon Power: “We’ve always found support for tidal power to be intuitive and that has been as true of politicians in Westminster as it has community groups in Port Talbot or manufacturers in the Midlands. What’s interesting about this research is that support for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon runs deeper: there is a common appreciation among Conservatives that this project signals the start of something different in UK energy. And as the scale and cost efficiencies of tidal lagoons are better understood, we’re confident support will grow further still.”
You can read the full report here.
 *For both Conservative MPs and councillors, ensuring that UK electricity generation facilities deliver power that is reliable (75% Conservative MPs include this in their top three, and 68% of councillors) and long-term (69% Conservative MPs and 63% councillors) are the reasons most likely to appear in respondents’ top three.