With environmentalists going on and on about how nations all around the world need to drastically reduce their use of fossil fuels, the UK is seriously considering using the tidal flows in its Severn Estuary as a source for environmentally friendly energy.
As the Severn Estuary presently drains the longest river in Britain, the Severn, their choice of location for the building of a barrage that can power a hydroelectric plant seems quite a rational one.
Thus, the amounts of water that go in and out of the estuary on a daily basis can prove to be quite a valuable energy source.
However, highly preoccupied with the well-being of estuary's ecosystems, environmentalists suggest that instead of going ahead with this project and building a dam here, the government should look into the possibility of using tidal stream generators.
For those unaware, these machines function very much like tidal turbines, meaning that they can be used to extract energy from the natural movement of water masses. Apparently, by comparison to a dam, this technology is far less invasive and damaging to the natural world.
As Gareth Clubb, the director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, explains, “Fish and bird life would be devastated and could not recover. Tidal energy can be captured by other means with much less damaging consequences, and could be giving us green energy far sooner than the 20 years it will take to build this barrage.”
Although the idea of building a dam in the Severn Estuary is by no means a new one, what recently sprung interest into this matter is the fact that Peter Hain, a renowned Welsh politician, suddenly decided to quit his job as a state secretary in Wales and become a spokesperson for the consortium responsible for the dam project.
According to earthtechling.com
, the building of this damn would require funds of about $45 billion (about €36 billion). However, once completed, the construction could provide for 5% of the UK's present energy demand.
Although no agreement has yet been reached with respect to this issue, it is our belief that the very fact that Britain shows concern towards switching to greener energy sources is in itself praise-worthy.