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Wave Power

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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, pursuant to the answer to a supplementary question by Mr. Ronald Atkins [Official Report, 28th March 1977; Vol. 929, c. 8–9], gave the following further information:The Department is today publishing a paper outlining its present position with regard to tidal power generation in the Severn Estuary. (Energy Paper Series No. 23.) The paper contains summaries of studies made for the Department by the Netherlands Engineering Consultants Foundation (NEDECO), The Hydraulics Research Station, Wallingford (HRS), and the Institute of Geological Sciences (IGS). These studies themselves are also being published today. Copies of the paper and reports are being placed in the Library of the House.My right hon. Friend's Advisory Council on Research and Development for Fuel and Power (ACORD) considered the question of tidal power from the Severn Estuary in 1975 and recommended that two particular technical questions should be investigated in detail.These were:

Could the barrage be constructed using proven engineering techniques; in particular could final closure be achieved and what would be the resulting time scale and costs?
What effect would a barrage have on the tidal regime?

The studies published today embody answers to these questions. The conclusions very briefly are that construction of the barrage would be technically possible but at very high cost, and that the question of the effect of a barrage on the tidal regime will require considerable further study before an unambiguous answer is possible.

These studies have been presented to ACORD, which will consider them further; I am expecting the Council to report in the autumn with its recommendations.