Tidal barrages could be built in at least four estuaries to generate electricity and reduce Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels, a report by the Sustainable Development Commission has said. The Times. Financial Times
However, it warned that the project for the UK’s first tidal energy scheme must be led by the state if it is to be commercially competitive.
The Severn Estuary offers the best option for a tidal barrage but the Mersey, Thames and Humber should all be considered, said the report.
The proposed 16 km tidal barrage across the mouth of the Severn estuary could provide 5% of the UK’s electricity. Last week, the government announced a multimillion-pound feasibility study into the project.
The Sustainable Development Commission argued that only a government-led project could secure favourable borrowing rates to finance the barrage, which could cost at least £15bn.
’Considering the high level of government intervention that would be required to stimulate private sector interest in a barrage, the option of public sector financing does not look quite so radical,’ the report said.