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Wave goodbye


The debate between Nick Goodall and Sir Bernard Ingram on the topic of renewable energy resources once again side lined the potential role of tidal power in meeting the target of 10% electricity from 'green' sources by 2010.

Sadly, the Bondi report on the Severn scheme was itself side-lined as desks were cleared for a general election some 20 years ago. All subsequent studies have, however, confirmed the feasibility, optimum location, installed capacity, output and construction procedures derived in the late 1970's.

The Severn scheme would have an output of 17000GWh per year, from an installed capacity of 8640MW. The estimated 1992 cost was £10.8bn, with a unit cost of electricity 7.2p/kWh at an 8% discount rate, a structure life of 120 years, and a plant life of 3040 years.

The overall cost would have been less than half the cost of nuclear research and development between 1980 and 2000 quoted by Mr Goodall.

Can we continue to ignore tidal energy? I know which type of generation I would have liked to leave to my grandchildren!

Peter Ackers (F) 4 Glebe Close, Moulsford, OX10 9JA

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