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Julie James MS, Minster for Climate Change

First published:
14 March 2024
Last updated:

The Welsh Government is a strong supporter of Marine Energy, knowing the necessity of delivering green renewable energy, and the incredible opportunity presented by Wales’s coastline.

That is why I am delighted to announce the winners of the Tidal Lagoon Challenge. Holding a Tidal Lagoon Challenge was a Programme for Government commitment and is part of our wider commitment to make Wales a world centre of emerging marine technologies.

The Tidal Lagoon Challenge will directly support innovative research that will work to reduce or remove a barrier that is currently preventing tidal lagoons being developed or quantify a potential benefit of tidal lagoon development.

The calibre of applicants to the Tidal Lagoon Challenge was very high and is a testament to the quality of researchers in this field in Wales, and across the UK. I was delighted to see extensive collaboration, with all bids being made by consortia. We know that collaboration is a condition of innovation, and I am confident that the Tidal Lagoon Challenge research projects will be a catalyst for innovation in the sector.

The winners of the Tidal Lagoon Challenge were:

  • In the Environment category: Swansea University, in partnership with Fish Guidance Systems Ltd, Natural England, Batri Ltd & DST Innovations Ltd with the Enabling tidal lagoon consents: providing fish migration data, and developing and validating an acoustic fish deterrence system for twaite shad project. The project will use fish tagging and monitoring to test the effectiveness of acoustic fish deterrence (AFD) as a mitigation measure for tidal range deployment.


  • In the Engineering and Technical category: Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, in partnership with Cardiff University, Intertek and Western Gateway, with the FLOMax Flexible Lagoon Operation for Maximal Value project. The project will use modelling to quantify the value of developing tidal range power.


  • In the Socio-economic and Finance category: Cardiff University, in partnership with Western Gateway and British Hydropower Association Ltd with the Tidal Lagoon Schemes: Ownership, Equity and Finance project. The project will consider how different ownership and development/financing models for tidal lagoons could have positive impacts on the Welsh economy.

I look forward to the research outcomes being shared as these projects progress.