reactions in Burnham-On-Sea to plans for huge new tidal lagoon
to generate electricity from a huge tidal lagoon in the sea off
been met with mixed reactions this week.
huge lagoon in Bridgwater Bay would be one of six to be introduced
across the UK - including four in Wales and another in Cumbria
- to capture incoming and outgoing tides behind giant sea walls
to power turbines.
could generate 8% of the UK's energy for an investment of £30bn,
according to an announcement this week. The
huge project has been backed by the Government under an existing
scheme to promote home-grown, low-carbon energy.
Gill from developers Tidal Lagoon Power told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Were exploring opportunities for a full-scale Tidal
Lagoon in Bridgwater Bay. With one of the UKs highest tidal
ranges, a tidal lagoon in Somerset could present a huge opportunity
for low-carbon energy generation and bring about a range of environmental
and economic benefits for the wider region."
this stage, were exploring our options in detail and have
recently started to engage with environmental groups and decision
makers in the region to develop our thinking. Alongside Tidal
Lagoon Swansea Bay and Tidal Lagoon Cardiff, Bridgwater is an
enormously exciting project and we hope to be able to share our
plans with the public in the coming months."
Lagoon Power is in negotiations with the government over how much
it can charge for power from the lagoons. It wants £168
per MWh for electricity in Swansea, reducing to £90-£95
per MWh from a second, more efficient lagoon in Cardiff. The £90
figure compares favourably with the £92.50 price for power
from the planned Hinkley nuclear station, especially as the lagoon
is designed to last 120 years - at a lower risk than nuclear.
Mayor Cllr Martin Cox said: "My initial reaction is that
this is very welcome news. It would be good to see the power of
our tides being harnessed to generate power."
have the second highest tidal range in the world, so it makes
sense. Generating power in an ecologically friendly way has got
to be good."
Graham Wills from Burnham-On-Sea Sailing Club was cautious.
He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I'm concerned that the lagoon
would create silting issues along our estuary here. We know silt
is aready a significant issue in the channel and if it is 'land-locked'
with a lagoon, this could cause major problems to the shore as
well as the estuary. It's unpredicatable and needs to be very
Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt welcomed the news. "Its
great to see progress on tidal," she told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
"It makes so much sense to harness this clean, green, reliable
the fact that this is a new technology, the price of the electricity
produced is actually forecast to come in cheaper than new nuclear.
Nuclear has been around for decades but is still hugely expensive
and hazardous at all stages. I will continue to make the case
for tidal and other clean energy sources," she said.
Conservative parliamentary candidate James Heappey added:
"These tidal lagoons could make a significant contribution
to our energy generating capacity whilst creating many jobs and
bringing great investment too. I hope the Swansea project will
progress rapidly through the planning process. By committing to
this, admittedly, high strike price for the first
lagoon we will breathe life into the UKs tidal energy industry
and the projections for cost per kilowatt hour for subsequent
lagoons are very attractive. Indeed at £90-95 per kw/h they
are competitive with Hinkley Point."
added: "Clearly lagoons in Swansea and then Cardiff are of
little benefit to the Somerset coast but the big prize is the
Bridgwater Bay and I am excited by this further progress today.
I am convinced that rather than wasting huge amounts of money
subsidising unreliable - and ugly - wind farms, we should be investing
in the tidal and wave energy sectors so that we can take advantage
of the incredible resource that lies off our coast. I will continue
to advocate the opportunities for tidal and wave power generation
to the Government and hope that they will throw their full support
behind this emerging industry that could do so much for our local
fisherman Greg Young said he has concerns about the scheme.
"I understand that the turbines could reduce the number of
fish in Bridgwater Bay, which is not good for those like me who
are watch stocks of fish with interest."
previous plan for a barrage between Brean Down and Wales to create
tidal power was halted after environmentalists protested that
it would prevent the daily exposure of mud flats vital for wading
idea of lagoon is not new. In 2009, we covered plans
for a tidal lagoon in Bridgwater Bay - one of several proposals
considered over the years.
government's Energy Secretary Ed Davey says he wants to back the
project. "I can't make a decision on this yet because discussions
are ongoing. But I'm very excited by the prospect of tidal power.
We have got some of the biggest tidal ranges in the world and
it would be really useful if we could harness some of that clean