UPDATE: 5pm –
The following has been taken from a BBC summary of this afternoon’s ‘energy statement’ from the Mr Darling ;
*He said tidal power was “in its infancy” but the government wanted to encourage its development.
*He said there had not been enough research done on the benefits of reducing carbon emissions using tidal power, with all the emphasis placed on the negative impact on the immediate environment on the River Severn and other areas where wave power could be harnessed.
Full BBC summary of Energy Statement here.
Original post: 7am
Today a statement by trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling in the Commons will outline plans for the future of UK energy. It is widely expected that this will include the construction of up to 15 new nuclear power stations, mainly on old nuclear power station sites. Even more interesting is a motion to look at the potential for building a £14bn barrage that would harness the tidal energy of the Severn Estuary.
Stretching from the coast near Cardiff to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, the barrage could supply 5% of the UK’s electricity, according to supporters. But some environmentalists fear the 10 mile (16km) barrage would have an impact on wildlife and their habitats.
The idea of a barrage has been mooted in different forms since it was first proposed in 1849. In 1981, the first major study of the environmental impact of such a scheme was carried out with further research in 1989. Last week, 24 MPs signed an early day motion calling on the Government to urgently reappraise the idea.
SEVERN BARRAGE details
*The barrage would be 16km (10m) long
*It would power more than 200 turbines
*Planners say it could create 35,000 construction jobs and
between 10,000 – 40,000 permanent jobs
*The barrage could be generating electricity within 11 years, say planners
This would seem a sensible and workable proposal and possibly worth the environmental impacts, which include local ecosystems and aggregate supply.