January 26, 2009
£4bn Bridgwater Bay
tidal lagoon could protect Burnham from flooding
£4bn tidal lagoon that could protect Burnham-On-Sea from
coastal flooding was officially named as one of the five barrage
schemes being considered a shortlist by the government on Monday
'Bridgwater Bay Tidal Lagoons' scheme, pictured here, is one of
the projects selected from the ten examined during the last six
of the lagoon say the proposal would be less damaging to wildlife
than the barrage schemes.
Bridgwater Bay tidal lagoon would stretch across the estuary from
Brean Down to Hinkley Point and would generate an estimated 2.6TWh
of power per year. The scheme has a projected construction cost
of between £3.4-£4.1bn.
government report on the five barrage schemes says the lagoons
would "potentially be less detrimental on local ports and
fisheries than barrages, but would see a 5,500ha intertidal habitat
"There is also the possibility of sediment build-up within
the impounded area and this needs further investigation in phase
report added that the Bridgwater Bay tidal lagoons would also
be the best performing Bristol Channel lagoon on cost of energy.
the five schemes on the shortlist is also a barrage from Lavernock
Point in Glamorgan to Brean Down, near Burnham-On-Sea, pictured
preferred project will be selected in 2010 and a three-month public
consultation period on all ten projects and the proposed shortlist
began on Monday.
shortlist was unveiled on Monday morning in Bristol by Energy
and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband, who said: "Fighting
climate change is the biggest long term challenge we face and
we must look to use the UK's own natural resources to generate
clean, green electricity."
Severn estuary has massive potential to help achieve our climate
change and renewable energy targets. We want to see how that potential
compares against the other options for meeting our goals."
have tough choices to make. Failing to act on climate change could
see catastrophic effects on the environment and its wildlife,
but the estuary itself is a protected environment, home to vulnerable
species including birds and fish."
need to think about how to balance the value of this unique natural
environment against the long-term threat of global climate change."
are concerned a barrage could be devastating for the wildlife
that resides in the mud flats around the Estuary.
study for the RSPB suggested a 12-mile tidal 'reef' could be cheaper
and less damaging to wildlife than a barrage. While a barrage
would effectively dam the estuary, the reef would not hold back
the full height of the tide and therefore have less impact on
Harper, head of sustainable development at the RSPB, said: "It
is hugely disappointing to see Government still pushing forward
with the environmentally destructive option of a Cardiff-Weston
believe the focus should shift to innovative and potentially less
damaging alternatives like a tidal reef or tidal fence."
proposed barrage between Brean Down and Wales, pictured above,
is still one of the front-runners
proposals for barrages and lagoons in the Bristol Channel have
been considered in recent years, as pictured here