Greg Clark has refused to commit to when the government will press ahead with delayed plans for the Swansea Bay tidal barrage and a new fleet of mini nuclear reactors.
The business and energy secretary was pressed on the timing of both initiatives while being cross-examined yesterday (29 November) by the House of Commons BEIS (business, energy and industrial strategy) select committee about the industrial strategy.
Committee member Albert Owen, who represents the Welsh constituency of Ynys Mon, said businesses were keen to see a decision on both initiatives.
“It’s good to have a strategy document but we need a timetable,” he said.
The Hendry review of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon was published in January and the competition to design a new fleet of small modular reactor nuclear plants was launched two years ago.
Clark said the announcement for both decisions “won’t be much longer” and “discussions are proceeding well”.
But pressed on the timing he admitted the department did not “have a particular date in mind.”
Clark said: “On energy diversification, there are big opportunities, but we need to take those decisions in the context of value for money for the tax payer.”
Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the BEIS department, told the committee the nuclear industry was included in the list of sectoral impact assessments, delays to the publication of which have sparked a stand-off between the government and the House of Commons this week.