Main text:  The Swansea project and a number of related schemes will come under closer scrutiny post the election. The cost questions will need to be answered quickly if this project is not to come to a grinding halt. This make the deal over the cost of the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point look good value by comparison.

Christopher Booker,  Sunday Telegraph   ‘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.’

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