Published: February 9, 2012
Burnham's MP welcomes plans for South West Marine Energy Park

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week welcomed Climate Change Minister Greg Barker's announcement regarding the formation of a new South West Marine Energy Park, stretching between Bristol and Cornwall.

Energy from waves and tides has the potential to generate up to 27GW of power in the UK by the year 2050, equivalent to the power generated from eight coal-fired power stations. The new park aims to accelerate the use of marine power.

The Minister has also re-opened the door to the possibility of a Severn Barrage being built, saying it was "by no means dead" and that there were "some very interesting private sector-led initiatives."

Burnham's MP, Tessa Mut, said: "As long as the local environment is protected and the carbon payback of construction is reasonable, I would welcome the chance to look at any marine source of energy on the Severn Estuary, be that tidal or wave power, using barrages, tidal fences, lagoons, or as yet undeveloped technology. This could be a huge boost for the region's economy in terms of new long-term jobs, inward investment, and research and development capacity."

"In difficult economic times, the Coalition Government cannot afford to fund a large scale infrastructure project like the severn barrage. However, if a private consortium can raise the capital and put forward a proposal which balances energy production with local environmental impacts, that deserves serious consideration. Our region needs new employment opportunities, and it is clear that any such proposal would provide great economic potential for Somerset."

A South West Marine Energy Park prospectus outlines how the region’s public and private sector will work together with the government and other key national bodies such as the Crown Estate.

Pictured: Top, the area covered by the new marine energy park and, above, a new wave power device from Ecotricity

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