Update: government annouces short list for Severn energy options …. and further consultation. See here.
BBC reporter Miriam O’Reilly explores the viability of the Severn barrage project, potentially the biggest, most expensive and most controversial source of sustainable energy in the UK.
It could supply five per cent of our energy needs, but building it has a ten million-ton carbon footprint and a price tag of 15 billion pounds. It could supply clean, renewable energy for the next 100 years, but its construction would wipe out fragile and unique wildlife habitats and unpick European conservation legislation.
Miriam speaks to politicians, environmentalists and engineers to gauge the current mood and the future prospects of the project.
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
(1). UK government announces further study on tidal barrage (Oct 07)
(2). Energy white paper – tidal barrage (May 07)