Tidal Lagoons More Profitable than Barrage for Severn

The Chairman of the South West Marine Energy Park, Peter Kydd, claims that tidal lagoons would be a more feasible solution for harnessing tidal power from the Severn Estuary than a barrage, WalesOnline informs.

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project Proposal

“Having a structured plan to develop the Severn’s tidal power resource in this way could produce as much or more power than a Severn barrage when complete, but would avoid the difficulties of committing to a single large project from the outset,” Peter Kydd explained in an article about Severn’s tidal energy published in the Environmental Scientist, the journal of the Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Among the arguments brought forward, Kydd said that first of all, there is an issue with revenue, which is not generated before a barrage is fully built and operational, while, for example, a wind farm can be built incrementally and creates revenue prior to full operation.

Also, a barrage would require bigger basin area, it would affect larger vessels that transit port locks, and would demand rebuilding of the locks, which would temporarily put the port out of operation.

To avoid uncertainties related to technology, environmental impact and investment, tidal lagoons built in series are a solution for the Severn. Especially because of difficulties that might occur during construction of a single large infrastructure. With tidal lagoons, lessons can be learned already with the smaller project and can allow more efficient construction of the next ones, Kydd concludes.

April 21, 2014; Image: TLP

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