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Severn Barrage

Volume 169: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the Government's position, from energy, environmental and financial aspects, on the Severn tidal barrage.

A Severn tidal barrage is by far the largest single renewable energy project which could be built in the United Kingdom. Its average annual output would be some 17 Twh, which constitutes 7 per cent. of present electrical energy consumption in England and Wales. Before a Severn tidal barrage could go ahead, a full environmental impact assessment would need to be completed.Over the next two years some further work on the Severn barrage will be undertaken. This will include some site specific environmental work and a study of the financing issues for a barrage. The Department is presently funding generic tidal R and D in support of site specific work on the Severn, Mersey and other estuaries. The total cost of generic environmental studies completed since 1986 and currently under way amounts to £1 million.