The Government has scrapped plans to build a tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary
Plans to build a tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary have been scrapped. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has announced that the
Government does not see a strategic case for bringing forward a Severn tidal power
scheme in the immediate term.
One of the reasons for shelving the project is the estimated £34 billion cost – it is thought that it is unlikely to attract the
necessary private investment in the current economic climate. The barrage is also considered high risk in
comparison to other ways of generating low-carbon electricity. The extreme
tidal nature of the Severn Estuary would be fundamentally altered by a barrage, the Government says, which would impact on some bird and fish
The plan had been to build the barrage across the Severn Estuary from the English coast to the Welsh coast.
It is not thought that any of the Severn schemes examined could be
constructed in time to contribute to the UK’s 2020 renewable energy target, so
the case to build a scheme in the immediate term is weak. However, the
Government has not ruled out a barrage scheme in the longer term, but considers
that the Beachley Barrage and Welsh Grounds Lagoon options are no longer