Comment 2007 Edit

  • Jury’s still out on the Severn barrage, say Greenpeace, October 1 [2]
  • Severn Barrage must pass tough sustainability tests, SDC, October 1 [3]
  • Natural England responds to SDC report on tidal power [4] / place, place, topic

Friends of the Earth is calling for a comprehensive study of tidal lagoons and a smaller barrage on the Severn (Shoots barrage). The environmental charity rejects the Commission's recommendation that a feasibility study should be focused on the Severn Barrage.

The group expressed disappointment that the Commission proposes a scheme that would be publicly funded. Due to its high generating cost of 9.2p per kilowatt hour the Barrage would be nearly three times the cost of large tidal lagoons.

The Severn Barrage would generate just 4.3 per cent of the UK's electricity demand which is just 0.85 per cent percent of the UK's overall energy consumption.

Tidal lagoons a better option Edit

Friends of the Earth has identified six main reasons why tidal lagoons would be a better option than a Severn Barrage

  • Lagoons are far more efficient - they could produce up to 60% more energy than the Severn barrage
  • Lagoons are much cheaper - they would generate electricity at about half the cost of the barrage (3 p/kWh versus 6 p/kWh)
  • Lagoons would not impede navigation - unlike the Severn barrage, which could significantly reduce freight trade entering the UK via the Severn ports, Avonmouth and Portbury. This would have adverse knock-on effects on Bristol, and strain capacity and transport links at other UK ports
  • Lagoons would not destroy an internationally important habitat - unlike the Severn barrage, which would destroy the feeding grounds of tens of thousands of birds and damage the legally protected Severn Estuary
  • Lagoons would integrate well with other renewable energy schemes - unlike the Severn barrage, which would need expensive stand-by capacity to cope with the huge twice daily pulses of power that would not synchronise with the daily variations in grid demand
  • Lagoons would be compatible with a Shoots barrage near the Second Severn Crossing, which could provide flood defence and a strategic rail link from London to south Wales avoiding the ageing Severn tunnel

Quote Edit

"The Sustainable Development Commission is saying that the Severn Barrage would be a flagship project - leading the UK's investment in renewable energy. Yet to seriously damage an internationally important wildlife site in order to generate less than one percent of the UK's energy consumption is not the way to lead the world in sustainable development." Neil Crumpton, Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner and author of the group's Severn Barrage Report.

Related topics Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. Friends of the Earth, October 1
  2. Greenpeace, October 1
  3. Sustainable Development Commission, October 1
  4. Natural England, October 1

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