May 28 2010

Tidal Power Generation in Wales

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Future projects are being considered all around the world in places with large tidal range. The most current and hotly debated of these projects is the Severn tidal project.

Three different tidal barrages have been proposed across the Severn estuary in the Bristol Channel between Wales and England.  Cost estimates for the largest of these projects are as high as $33 billion dollars. As the diagram indicates, energy generation capacity depends on where the barrage is located. Because of the wide ranging environmental impacts, the plans have met a lot of opposition, and many people are favouring a tidal lagoon project.

One of the most important advantages of a lagoon project in Wales is that it would not affect tidal flats vital to migratory birds or interfere with estuarine circulation. An added advantage is that continuous power is possible by staggering releases from multiple lagoons, whereas a tidal barrage would only produce power at particular times when tidal range is the largest. Generation capacity for a lagoon project would depend on the size and number of lagoons, but they can generate as much as 7.5W per square meter of lagoon.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Tidal Power Generation in Wales”

  1.   Bethyn Merrick-Nguyenon 29 May 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Cymru is an incredible country and I’m proud that its being used as a place of clean energy production. Along with the tidal barrage/lagoon plans, the SeaGen project is going on in Ynys Mon (Anglesey) in the northern island in Wales. Given that they use biomass as a common source of home heating and hydroelectric, along with coal plants, they need some cleaner forms! I can only hope that Wales is able to reap the benefits of being a pioneer in this field of clean energy. England- keep your hands off!

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