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Severn Barrage: Shortlist confirmed as tidal technologies receive Government funding

The Government has today confirmed a shortlist of proposed projects for tidal energy in the Severn Estuary.

In a response to the Severn tidal power consultation held earlier this year, it confirmed that more research would be done on the potential impact of three proposed barrages and two lagoons.

The schemes under consideration are a 0.625GW barrage at Beachley, costing £2.3bn; a 1.05GW Shoots barrage, costing £3.2bn; a larger 8.64GW Cardiff-Weston barrage, costing £20.9bn; or two 1.36GW lagoon proposals at Bridgewater Bay and Welsh grounds, costing £3.8bn and £4bn respectively.

The Government has also announced in its UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, published today, that the development of embryonic tidal energy technologies will receive more than £500,000 of funding.

The new technologies include two types of tidal fence and a low head barrage, with a new type of turbine.

Essential projects

“Harnessing clean, green energy is essential,” said Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson.

“Everyone wants the same outcome – a greater amount of renewable energy following careful consideration of the potential environmental impacts.

“The Severn Estuary has the potential to be a huge source of renewable energy.”

“The Cardiff-Weston barrage has the potential to save the equivalent of the yearly CO2 emissions from all homes in Wales.”

Lord Hunt, Energy and Climate Change Minister

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt said the Severn project mirrored the “scale and ambition” of the Government’s Transition Plan.

“The Cardiff-Weston barrage has the potential to save the equivalent of the yearly CO2 emissions from all homes in Wales,” he said.

“And that is why it’s right we continue to assess this option further, whilst at the same time considering the potential for the exciting embryonic technologies.”

Following further research into the environmental, social and regional impact of the five shortlisted Severn projects, a second public consultation will be held.

This is expected to happen in 2010.

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