Bay lagoon plans given a boost by government report
prospect of a Bridgwater Bay lagoon being constructed in the sea
near Burnham-On-Sea has been given a major boost this week.
comes after plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay
to generate power have been backed by a government-commissioned
Energy Minister Charles Hendry's independent report into the technology's
viability said it would make a "strong contribution" to
the UK's energy supply and would bring "significant economic
are hopes of developing a network of larger lagoons around the UK's
coastline, including one in Bridgwater Bay in the Bristol Chanel
off Burnham-On-Sea, harnessing power from the ebb and flow of the
has previously reported how a Bridgwater
Bay tidal lagoon could protect Burnham from flooding in the
event of storms. However there are local concerns that a lagoon
could have a negative impact on amount of silt in the estuary and
on sand quantities along beaches at Burnham, Brean and Berrow.
Hendry concluded that tidal lagoons would prove more cost-effective
over 60 years than other forms of electricity generation such as
offshore wind and nuclear power plants, although they would be more
expensive in the earlier years.
320 megawatt pilot project in Swansea Bay, which was awarded planning
permission by Amber Rudd, former energy minister, in June 2015,
has a projected lifespan of 120 years. The project would involve
building a six-mile horseshoe-shaped seawall with underwater turbines
that would enclose part of the bay.
reports says that the Swansea lagoon scheme could cost households
on average an extra 35p-45p a year through their energy bills in
the first 15 years, and between 20p-30p when the scheme has been
in existence for between 30 and 60 years. Electricity generated
after 60 years would be "subsidy free", he added.
UK Energy Minister Mr Hendry has been gathering evidence for nearly
a year for his independent inquiry, including visits to all the
potential sites and discussions with industry.
Swansea Bay project would involve 16 turbines along a breakwater
but is seen as only the start - a prototype for much larger lagoons.
Lagoon Power, the company behind the Swansea Bay proposal, says
it 'fleet' includes one off the coast of Cardiff - east of where
Cardiff Bay is now - Newport, Bridgwater Bay, Colwyn Bay and west
Cumbria, north of Workington.
Hendry has recommended that no large projects should go ahead before
the Swnasea lagoon has been up and running as a trial for at least
a year. Meanwhile, a National Policy Statement identifying
further suitable sites for development should be set out by government
to give confidence to potential investors in the technology, he
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which has opposed
other renewable energy schemes because of their impact on bird habitats,
has also given a cool reception to tidal lagoons. It has warned
that the ecological impacts of tidal power schemes are "not
well understood... and have the potential to cause significant adverse
impacts to key wildlife sites."
Clark, business secretary, said the government would consider Mr
Hendrys recommendations. Mr Hendry's independent review on
tidal lagoons is available at https://hendryreview.wordpress.com/