The Green Party said this week it has “deep misgivings” about the scale of the huge Severn Barrage being planned between Brean Down and Wales.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Green Party welcomed the bid to draw energy from the tides of the Bristol Channel, saying that it will put the “looming energy crisis” back on the agenda.
But it added that it does not support the scheme itself.
It comes a week after Burnham-On-Sea.com reported how Welsh businessman Gareth Woodham had launched an ambitious plan to build a barrage across the estuary between Brean Down, near Burnham-On-Sea (pictured) and Lavernock Point in Wales.
“Mr Woodham is showing far more courage and imagination than the government,” said Bristol Green Party spokesman Peter Goodwin.
“There will be many objections to his plans, not least from ourselves – but he is right to pinpoint the estuary as a vital part of Britain’s future energy provision.”
“It has the capacity to provide perhaps 20% of Britain’s power needs. The government, meanwhile, is sleepwalking its way into a climate crisis and an energy crisis.”
He added: “Safe energy from natural resources like the tides and winds of the estuary is urgently needed. Along with strategies to reduce overall energy use, we can still avoid the intolerable danger, national insecurity, and expense of fossil and nuclear alternatives.”
“But it’s something we have to act on now. Let’s see a commitment from the government to make the most of this invaluable asset,” said Mr Goodwin.
Although they welcome the debate, the Greens say they have “deep misgivings” about the scale of Mr Woodham’s plans.
They argue that many small-scale renewable power plants under the water or in the air above it could produce similar outputs without the huge and controversial environmental and energy costs of constructing a barrage.