Friday, April 21, 2006

Back the Severn Barrage

Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain have backed plans for a barrage over the Bristol Channel. It could produce the same amount of electricity as three to five nuclear power stations.

It would provide 6% of the UK's electricity. But the RSPB and Friends of the Earth Cymru oppose it at present because its design endangers birds.

The Low Carbon Kid espoused tidal and marine energy in his energy review submission. It's proven technology. It's cost-effective over its life cycle (hydro in Scotland is now the cheapest form of electricity).

There are ways around the ecological damage - reserves can be created. And tidal lagoons can also work.

I say to environmentalists who oppose it - be imaginative - think of the damage caused by other forms of electricity. Or stop using electricity at all.

The Severn has a tidal range approaching 14m, the second highest in the world. Other possible UK sites are in Liverpool Bay (area to the north of Rhyl) and the Thames Estuary.

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