THE first in a series of tidal lagoon projects which could see Bridgwater Bay utilised for power has been back by an independent review.

The review has backed the development of a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, saying the technology could play "a cost-effective role" in the UK energy mix.

Other projects planned by Tidal Lagoon Power include Bridgwater Bay, Cardiff, Newport, Colwyn Bay and west Cumbria. 

Former energy minister Charles Hendry, who led the Government-commissioned study, said lagoons which harness the power of the tides for electricity could help with security of supply, cut carbon and bring opportunities for the UK supply chain.

He called for the government to move ahead with a smaller "pathfinder" lagoon project, urging it to build on the work that has already been done for a scheme in Swansea Bay.

But he also said the pathfinder project needed to be operational before there was a move to larger schemes, which could deliver low-carbon power at competitive prices.

A clear long-term government strategy in favour of tidal lagoons would be needed to realise full benefits to the supply chain and to reduce costs, he said.

Mr Hendry's review was prompted by efforts by renewable energy firm Tidal Lagoon Power to secure subsidies for a £1.3 billion scheme to build the world's first lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay.

The lagoon would involve a U-shaped breakwater built out from the coast, with a bank of turbines turned by water which would harness the rise and fall of the tides to generate renewable electricity.

While the Government has expressed backing for lagoons, former prime minister David Cameron said his enthusiasm had been "reduced" by the costs, with much higher subsidies than nuclear or offshore wind mooted at one stage.

The initial scheme would cost around 30p per household per year for the first 30 years, the review said.

A large-scale tidal lagoon would be less expensive than offshore wind and significantly less expensive than nuclear over the first 60 years of its 120-year life.

The study also said it was "beyond question" that local economic regeneration would follow a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay.