Renew On Line (UK) 50

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 150 July-Aug 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.  Mind the  Funding Gap

2.  1 GW of Wind - RSPB fears

3.  Marine Renewables

4. Still no to Tidal Barrage/Lagoon

5. Biofuels Push

6. 2000 solar  roofs

7. Transmission Debate

8. Mine Methane shafted

9. Lords on Climate Change

10. RO price rises

11. New Renewable projects around the UK

12. Wind power costs

13. Scotland invests  to save energy

14. SEPN charts progress …but SDC wants

15 Renewables around the World

16. EU new : wind at 30GW

17. Nuclear News: Bush bans reprocessing

4. Still no to Tidal Barrage/Lagoon

In response to a series of questions raised on tidal power in the Welsh Assembly in Feb. Andrew Davies noted the debate on this issue in the House of Lords on Jan 13th (see Renew 149) and commented: ‘The UK Government clearly recognises the enormous clean energy potential of the Severn  barrage, but also appreciates the potential environmental consequences and financing difficulties. Also, because of the potential attractiveness of off-shore windfarms as cheaper source of large-scale renewable energy, the UK Government does not plan at this stage to pursue the Severn barrage through further feasibility studies. However, the DTI is prepared to keep the potential of the barrage in mind, which very much accords with our position that the option should remain alive. I am aware of the proposal from Tidal Electric Limited for a tidal lagoon project in Swansea bay. My officials have discussed this project  with the promoters, the DTI and the WDA.’ 


However he noted the comments by Lord Sainsbury  on 13 Jan: ‘the DTI had assessed its [Tidal Electric Limited’s] claims using an independent consultant with a background in the technology. We think that those estimates are extremely optimistic and that electricity costs  are likely to be much higher- possibly by a factor of four, which puts the scheme at the top end of the range. Of course, if Tidal Electric’s  assumptions are correct, it has plenty of scope to convince investors of its case and could attract commercial funds.’  


Davies added ‘I understand that this view was also reiterated by Stephen Timms.... during a meeting held on the 28 Jan. with Win Griffiths MP, Oona King MP and Jon Aldenton, director of TEL. This also appears to be in accord with the in-depth appraisal that is being undertaken by the WDA. However despite these serious concerns, in view of the great potential in Wales for marine renewable energy of various types, I have asked officials to continue to track closely future developments on this and other proposals.’


* Peter Ullman of Tidal Electric has responded to the DTI’s claim that a consultants  review found that ‘the developer had underestimated their costs by a factor of 4’ (8p/kWh rather than 2p) making lagoons uneconomic, as recycled in the recent Lords debate on energy. Ullman commented that “The source of a frequently heard rumour that developers had underestimated costs by a factor of four was finally tracked down to a report by the company to the US Government on a proposed 2 MW installation in a remote village in rural Alaska. The area has no roads within 400 miles, a small (3 meter) tidal range, no grid connection, and only a few hundred people. The economies of scale work in both directions and the UK sites with their large tidal ranges (7 meters and higher), large populations, grid availability, temperate climate, and modern infrastructure are far less expensive to build and operate.”


* Friends of the Earth Cymru have come out with a report comparing the lagoon idea very favourably with the barrage. More in Renew 151

NATTA/Renew Subscription Details

Renew is the bi-monthly 30 plus page newsletter of NATTA, the Network for Alternative Technology and Technology Assessment. NATTA members gets Renew free. NATTA membership cost £18 pa (waged) £12pa (unwaged), £6 pa airmail supplement (Please make cheques payable to 'The Open University', NOT to 'NATTA')

Details from NATTA , c/o EERU,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: 01908 65 4638 (24 hrs)

The full 32 (plus) page journal can be obtained on subscription
The extracts here only represent about 25% of it.

This material can be freely used as long as it is not for commercial purposes and full credit is given to its source.

The views expressed should not be taken to necessarily reflect the views of all NATTA members, EERU or the Open University.