Britain’s first large tidal energy scheme – which would have the potential to deliver 5% of the country’s electricity – is to undergo a multimillion-pound feasibility study. Financial Times

Business secretary John Hutton announced the study into a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary at the Labour conference in Bournemouth.

But Hutton is braced for a backlash from environmental groups that believe the scheme would destroy the estuary’s mud flats, which are an internationally recognised wildlife habitat for wading birds.

He has told colleagues that the Green lobby must make some hard choices if Britain is to face up to the challenges of climate change.