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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

27 Jan 2009 04:01:14

8.5GW barrage on Severn Estuary shortlist

8.5GW barrage on Severn Estuary shortlist
The 8.5 gigawatt (GW) proposal for a tidal barrage stretching ten miles across the water from Cardiff from Weston super Mare is among the proposals shortlisted by the government for consideration to produce renewable energy from the Severn Estuary.

Among the five schemes selected for the shortlist were two smaller barrages and two lagoon schemes preferred by wildlife conservation groups.

The ten-mile barrage, estimated to cost £20 billion, would generate five per cent of the UK's electricity and has a significantly higher capacity than the other projects on the shortlist.

Both the lagoon projects – Bridgwaer Bay Lagoon and Fleming Lagoon – could each generate 1.36GW.

A proposed Beachley Barrage would have 1.05GW generation capacity and another could produce just 625MW of electricity.

Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband said: "The Severn estuary has massive potential to help achieve our climate change and renewable energy targets. We want to see how that potential compares against the other options for meeting our goals.

"The largest proposal to harness the power of the tides on the shortlist could save as much carbon dioxide as all the residential emissions from Wales."

However, conservation organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have claimed the Cardiff-Weston barrage would destroy the habitats of wildlife.

The Gwent Wildlife trust also said the barrage, which would contain 14 turbines, would damage local fish populations.

Also included in the announcement was the provision of £500,000 to further develop technologies such as tidal reefs and tidal fences.



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