asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have commissioned any surveys to determine the location of estuaries, sea lochs and straits with potential for electricity generation using tidal flow; and, if so, when each such study is due to finish. [HL5808]
A Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) study, Turning the Tide—Tidal Power in the UK, funded by the Government and published in October 2007, identified the main tidal stream sites with the potential for electricity generation using tidal power. These included sites in the Pentland Firth, Alderney and the north channel. Further assessments on these and other tidal stream sites are outlined in an annexe to the SDC study “Tidal Power in the UK—Research Report 1—Tidal Resource Assessment” at www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications/downloads/TidalPowerUK1-Tidal_resource_assessment.pdf. Further detail on the tidal power resource in the UK can also be found in the UK Marine Renewable Energy Atlas, with the tidal power resource estimates available at www.renewables-atlas.info/.
The cross-government Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study, launched in January 2008, is looking at a range of options for generating electricity from the tidal range resource of the Severn estuary. All these options offer potential flood defence benefits, with the most significant being large barrages and land-connected lagoons. A short list of options that will be examined in more detail in phase 2 of the study, if a decision is taken to proceed, will be the subject of a public consultation early in the new year.