Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Severn tidal barrage wins new study cash

The long awaited Severn Barrage tidal power scheme was given new life this week after Secretary of State for Business John Hutton pledged government support for a new feasibility study into the multi-billion energy generation project.

Speaking in Bournemouth at the Labour party conference, Hutton described the barrage as a “truly visionary project”.
Current barrage proposals are led by proposals from the Severn Tidal Power Group. This was formed in 1981 as a joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Taylor Woodrow, Sir Robert McAlpine and Alstom.


The £14bn scheme is expected to supply up to 8.64GW of power - equivalent to two nuclear power stations or 5% of total UK electricity demand.The 10km long structure would harness the estuary’s 20m tidal range to drive turbines and would also carry a road and rail line across the water.


The new government-funded study will examine this scheme and many other electricity generation proposals for the estuary such as the smaller £1.65bn Shoots barrage promoted by Parson Brinckerhoff. It will also assess the viability of tidal power at other sites around the UK and report on the likely cost of schemes and their environmental, social and economic impacts.


Conservative shadow Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan said that while she welcomed any study into tidal power, the Government’s approach to renewable energy to date had been too limited.


“This review must also consider the use of tidal lagoons in areas such as North Wales and deliver practical solutions to the problem of climate change,” she said. “Any proposals to harness the energy of the Severn estuary must have public support and take into full account the environment of the area.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.