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Severn Barrage: fund for developing tidal technologies launched today

The Government today launched a £500,000 fund for the development of embryonic tidal technologies that could be used in the Severn estuary.

First announced when the shortlist of Severn tidal power schemes being considered for construction was published in January, the fund will help to develop technologies such as tidal reefs and tidal fences that the Government considered too immature for inclusion on the main shortlist.

The fund will open to bidders today, when Ministers meet to discuss it with potential applicants in Bristol.

“This funding will help us understand the potential of these emerging ideas and whether, and how long, we would have to wait for them to come to fruition,” said climate change minister Mike O’Brien.

“The Severn estuary has massive potential to help achieve our climate change and renewable energy targets. So far our consultation on a proposed shortlist of five schemes has received over 400 responses.

“As well as this shortlist, I am keen to keep innovative options on the table. That’s why we are inviting companies to bid for a share of the funds to accelerate progress.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) £500,000 scheme is designed to deliver:

  • a support package which will comprise expert advice and grants. The scheme is designed to offer a flexible range of support so that both small and larger organisations can benefit from it;
  • an assessment of potential in terms of technical feasibility and environmental and other impacts, and
  • a route map to deployment for promising technologies.

The fund is open to new proposals as well as those submitted to the feasibility study that preceded January’s shortlist announcement. The closing date for bids is 1 May 2009. Full information is available on the DECC website.

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