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03 Mar 2009 06:03:02

Carbon payback time of Severn Barrage is six months

Carbon payback time of Severn Barrage is six months
Carbon emissions saved in the first six months of running the proposed Severn Barrage tidal power project would pay back the emissions related to building the facility, according to a new report.

The carbon costs of materials, transportation and installation of the equipment would be covered by the carbon savings made in the first half year of full operation of the massive renewable energy project, according to the Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Engineers (CIWEM).

If the proposal is selected to generate electricity from the tidal flows of the Severn river, it would be the biggest renewables generator in the UK, providing five per cent of the country's total electricity needs.

The clean electricity it provides would mean fewer carbon emitting generation processes would have to be used.

An abstract for the report notes that the scientists calculated the six month payback " based on estimating the ratio of the life-cycle carbon emissions demand of the scheme (gCO2) relative to its energy output (kW) over an assumed lifetime, this to include expected plant replacements over that period".

Earlier this year the Guardian reported that Tidal Electric claimed that more energy could be generated using tidal lagoons built on the estuary floor from rock.

Instead of cutting across the whole estuary, these lagoons would be scattered around the area, reducing the environmental impact of the project.



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