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Energy: Tidal Generation

Volume 713: debated on Wednesday 21 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the report of the Committee on Climate Change recommended the use of tidal energy; and whether their approach draws on the experience of France in using tidal energy. [HL5697]

The Committee on Climate Change considered the potential for a tidal power project in the Severn estuary using information from the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study. The report concluded that a Severn tidal project could form part of a clearly affordable low-carbon strategy if other options (such as nuclear, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other renewables) were not available. The report notes that these other options carry their own delivery risks and therefore recommends that the option of a Severn tidal project (including a large barrage) is kept open.

The Committee on Climate Change, while being aware of the La Rance barrage operating since the 1960s in France, made its judgment on Severn tidal power based on cost estimates specific to the Severn, and comparison of these with the costs of other low carbon options. The committee also considered the potential learning benefits of a tidal power project in the Severn in comparison to offshore wind, tidal stream and wave energy.