Severn Estuary Tidal Power - Resource Page
Tidal Power in the Severn Estuary and Inner Bristol Channel
As the UK Government is committed to generating 20% of the nation's energy from renewable sources by 2020, a tidal power project in the Severn estuary could therefore contribute to the UK’s commitment to meeting the European Union’s Renewable energy target along with domestic and international greenhouse gas targets. However any scheme is inevitably going to have a significant potential impact on habitats and wildlife within the estuary and some of the proposals could also influence shipping to the ports of Cardiff, Bristol, Gloucester, Newport and Sharpness.
The subject of tidal power in the Severn Estuary never seems have been far from the headlines for the last few years or so. It is the biggest issue currently affecting the estuary and one which the Severn Estuary Partnership is keen to see properly debated.
With the Severn Barrage scheme on hold at this stage, the door has been opened for other schemes to harness the tidal power resource both in the estuary and areas of the Bristol Channel. Some of these technologies involved were presented at the Sustainable Severn conference held at the University of the West of England in Bristol, on the 18th of April 2013. Recently a frontrunner has emerged in the form of Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (Tidal Lagoon Power), who submitted plans for a £850m tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay which could provide power for 120,000 homes as a first step towards developing technology that could meet 10% of the UK's electricity needs from the tides.
Just in the last few days, Tidal Lagoon Power has increased this momentum still further by unveiling plans that for a second tidal lagoon between Cardiff and Newport, with a capacity of between 1,800MW and 2,800MW, or the equivalent of meeting the power needs of every home in Wales.
- Proposed Tidal Lagoon Development, Cardiff, South Wales, Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Report (Tidal Lagoon Power, 2nd March 2015)
- Cardiff tidal energy lagoon 'could power every home in Wales' (The Telegraph, 2nd March 2015)
- How does a tidal lagoon power plant work?(BBC News, 2nd March 2015)
- Tidal Lagoon Plants Could Power 8% Of UK (SKY NEWS, 2nd March 2015)
- Tidal Lagoon Power unveils plans for 2.8GW Cardiff lagoon (Business Green, 2nd March 2015)
Tidal Power in the Bristol Channel
Tidal Lagoons Latest News
Severn Tidal Barrage
Less than two years ago, the most obvious candidate was the proposal for a Severn Barrage scheme from Lavernock Point near Penarth to Brean Down near Weston-super-Mare (frequently termed the Cardiff-Weston Barrage). However this was delivered a potentially fatal blow by the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, which, after taking written and oral evidence from relevant organisations and individuals, published its findings ‘A Severn Barrage?’ on the 10th of June 2013. This report stated that although a tidal barrage across the Severn could contribute to energy and climate change objectives, the £34bn Hafren Power scheme had failed to demonstrate economic, environmental and public acceptability, . It added that potential environmental impacts had not been adequately addressed, and concluded with the recommendation that the Government should not support the proposed scheme in its present form and that Hafren Power undertake and make available, further assessments.
- Wave power device that promises to cut cost of marine energy to be tested in Milford Haven later this year (Wales Online, 9th January 2015)
- UK Government 'serious' about support for tidal power projects, says Wales Office minister (Wales Online, 16th December 2014)
- Students challenged to harness tidal energy of Bristol Channel (University of Bristol News, 5th November 2014)
- How lack of investment is holding back the progress of marine power (The Guardian, 6th October 2014)
Websites, Reports and Conferences
- Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
- Severn Barrage and Tidal Energy conference (Institute of Civil Engineers, 26/06/2013)
- Commons Select Committee - A Severn Barrage? (Commons Select Committee, 10/06/2013)
- Sustainable Severn Conference (Sustainable Severn, 04/2013)
- Severn Tidal Power (National Archives,10/2010)
- Severn Tidal Power (RSPB, 02/2010)
- Tidal Power in the UK (Sustainable Development Commission,10/2007)
- A Severn barrage or tidal lagoons? A Comparison (Friends of the Earth, 01/2004)
All website links correct as of 03/03/2015, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you find any that are broken.
About the Severn Estuary Partnership
Note: It is not the intention of the Severn Estuary Partnership to take any position regarding the debate about tidal power in the estuary, merely to provide a resource on the subject. About us. The different groups on the estuary and their various websites are easily viewed from the Severn Estuary Gateway.
State of the Severn Estuary Report
This document is set to be the first in a series that reports on the state of and changes in the natural and human environment of the Severn Estuary, establishing baseline data in the context of climate and other coastal change.
One of the main objectives was to inform a wide ranging audience, including local people and industry professionals alike, on why the Estuary is so unique by providing a non-technical overview of the Estuary environment; focusing on its uses and resources.
Future editions of the report will focus on the identification and analysis of a robust set of sustainability indicators, which can not only be used to determine the health of the Estuary environment and its resources, but will also aid in the development of effective management measures.
The ‘State of the Severn Estuary Report’ has been produced by the Severn Estuary Partnership and Cardiff University, in collaboration with the Environment Agency (Wales). With support from the Interreg IVb IMCORE project, the report has been developed to incorporate contributions from the University’s lecturers, local industries, stakeholders and even Estuary residents – such as Miranda Krestovnikoff, presenter of the BBC’s Coast series – who kindly wrote the foreword and launched the summary document at the 2011 annual Severn Estuary Forum.