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Tidal Energy

Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received about the development of tidal energy lagoons off (a) the Welsh coast and (b) elsewhere in the UK. [103318]

My Department has received a number of representations from one organisation regarding a tidal lagoon project in the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent estimate she has made of the cost of power from (a) waves, (b) tidal stream, (c) tidal barrage and (d) tidal lagoons. [103446]

A number of claims have been made about the cost of power from these technologies but as they have not yet been demonstrated as proven and reliable methods of electricity generation such estimates are speculative.The exceptions to this are tidal barrage on which much work has been done in the past, particularly in respect of the Severn Barrage and tidal stream. A recent review of the Severn Scheme showed previous conclusions that such projects are uneconomic compared with other forms of electricity generation were unchanged.In 2001 a study

* which re-examined the commercial prospects for tidal stream power did make some cost estimates based on a single device concept. The likely cost of energy from this device were estimated in the range 4–6 p/kWh. However these are very tentative since the concept has yet to be demonstrated.

* The Commercial Prospects for Tidal Stream Power DTI/Pub URN 0I/1011

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the feasibility of offshore tidal power generation. [103316]

In 2001 a study was commissioned which re-examined the commercial prospects for tidal stream power*. The UK is at the forefront of development of technologies which harness this potential although this form of generation has yet to be shown to be commercial.

* The Commercial Prospects for Tidal Stream Power DTI/Pub URN 01/1011

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the potential of tidal energy lagoons to provide renewable energy in the UK. [103317]

Tidal lagoons as with other forms of large scale barrage have potential to contribute to the UK's renewable energy targets. However, these schemes have a very substantial impact on the environment and in the case of lagoons their economics have yet to be demonstrated.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the role that non-barrage tidal power electricity generation could play in achieving renewable energy targets. [103529]

The recent Energy White Paper acknowledged the potential contribution that tidal power technologies could make to achieving the Government's longer term renewable energy goals. In 2001 a study was commissioned which re-examined the commercial prospects for tidal stream power*.

* The Commercial Prospects for Tidal Stream Power DTI/Pub URN 01/1011