Severn Barrage: no government funding

Tim Web reported in The Observer of 5th September that the government is expected to rule out public funding for the controversial £20bn plan for the world’s largest tidal energy project, proposed to be built across the Severn estuary between Somerset and south Wales (see RN 106 Spring 2009).

The private sector is unlikely to back the project, which on completion would provide only 5% of the UK’s electricity, without government money. In a report to be  published this month, ministers will recommend that further feasibility studies be carried out for one of 4 much smaller projects, which would cost about£3bn.

A further threat to the archeology of the area may be posed by an infrastructure project which will also be needed to allow a port, still to be selected, to upgrade its infrastructure; raising bridges, for example, to allow the giant turbines to be transported and shipped for installation off the UK coast; vital for the UK’s hopes of becoming a major wind turbine manufacturing centre.

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