Net News Publishers, May 6, 2008
Work to determine the potential of a tidal energy generator in the Severn Estuary is continuing with the appointment of a consortium led by consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff who will manage the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
The SEA is a major part of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study. It will provide analysis of how the environment around the estuary will be affected if a tidal range power project goes ahead.
The Secretary of State for Energy, John Hutton, announced the start of the two year long feasibility study in January. The tidal energy resource in the Severn Estuary provides the largest potential of all the UK’s estuaries for renewable electricity generation. John Hutton said: “A Severn tidal power project could be larger in size, output and cost than any other energy project in this country. It has the potential to generate up to 5% of the UK’s electricity demand and contribute significantly to the proposed EU renewable energy targets. It’s therefore vitally important we undertake the most thorough and exhaustive study and contract the right companies to take this work forward”.
Minister for the Environment at the Welsh Assembly Government, Jane Davidson said: “The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to increasing the amount of energy generated from renewable sources so as to help address the serious issue of climate change. We must, therefore, consider carefully the opportunity to harness tidal power in the Severn Estuary. I am very much aware of the estuary’s environmental importance and the environmental protection legislation that, quite rightly, will need to be taken fully into account. There is a great deal at stake and our assessments during the feasibility study must be rigorous and based on sound science.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed to advise the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) on how such a project could be financed and ownership options. Consideration will be given to the full range of possibilities, including the need for any government support