asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects completion of the current studies on the feasibility of exploiting tidal power in the Severn Estuary; what is the estimated budget for these studies; and what is the estimated cost of a full-scale feasibility study.
The study on the effects of a Severn barrage on the tidal regime is complete and my right hon. Friend expects to receive a final report on the closure problem by the end of this month. He intends to publish the reports of these studies, which together cost about £50,000. We do not yet have firm figures for the cost of a full-scale feasibility study, but proposals have been made by consultants for broad studies costing somewhat over £1 million; these, however, would include little of the field and modelling work which would be necessary before a final decision on the construction of a barrage could be taken.