Some of the UK's biggest green groups have slammed the Government's shortlist of tidal power projects being proposed for the Severn Estuary in the southwest as "seriously flawed". A report commissioned by environmental groups including the National Trust, RSPB and WWF, and carried out by Atkins, claims the Government is pushing large-scale schemes that will damage local wildlife at the expense of smaller-scale projects.
The Government's favourite scheme, the Cardiff-Weston barrage, which could meet up to 6% of the UK's electricity demand, would also permanently flood protected areas of the Estuary wetland. The coalition of environmental groups criticise the decision to include the larger barrage schemes while ruling out projects based on lagoon technology, which would be potentially much less damaging.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) counters that this technology is much further off commercial viability - but one that is nevertheless being supported by £500 million in research funds. However, the coalition maintains that the Government's report has "several serious shortcomings in the power calculations which bias the shortlisting process". They also claim that the Government is using out of date data. The environmental groups are now calling on the Government to scrap its current list and draw up a new one that gives a fair assessment of more innovative projects.
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Source Energy Efficiency News
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