Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Tidal energy from the Severn Estuary, Bristol

  • Lecture
  • Bristol
  • 06 November 2018
  • 18:00 - 19:30
Tidal energy from the Severn Estuary, Bristol

About this event

The ICE Bristol City Club would like to invite you to an evening talk on the energy generating potential of the Severn Estuary.

The Severn Estuary in Britain has the second highest tidal range in the world and tidal power in the Severn could produce a total of about 7% of the country's energy needs. The lecture will consider the viability of tidal stream and tidal range.

The most successful tidal range scheme currently operating is the La Rance scheme in Brittany, France, which has operated for 50 years and now produces the cheapest electricity in Europe. Experience from that will be described. Tidal range schemes in the Severn Estuary can be either barrages or lagoons and the main schemes will be identified. These will include the pathfinder Swansea Bay lagoon and an updated Severn barrage.

Each scheme would have different impacts on the environment and most would involve the Habitats and Birds Directives. In recent years, turbine development has meant there would be less change in basin water level and hence less impact on the environment.

This event is FREE and open to all (including the general public).

Sandwiches and refreshments are available from 18:00 with the talk commencing at 18:30.



Chris Binnie

Chris is a fourth generation water engineer. After graduating from Cambridge University, he took the Dam Design and Hydro Power courses at Imperial College, London.

In the 1970s, he worked for Binnie & Partners as a Project Engineer on the 1,600 MW Dinorwic pumped storage scheme in Snowdonia. For 15 years, he was the Director of the Water Consultancy division of WSAtkins and then became a Main Board Director. In the 1980s, Chris was on the Management Board of the Severn Tidal Power Group. From 2008-2010 he chaired the DECC Independent Technical & Engineering Expert Panel for the Severn Tidal Power Studies.

Since then, he was on the Advisory Board for the tidal energy studies of the Mersey and the Wyre barrages. In 2016 he was a consultant to ITP providing technical support to the Hendry Review of the future of tidal power from lagoons, this is currently awaiting government response. He was President of the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management in its centenary year. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering for 20 years and of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Chris is currently a visiting Professor at Exeter University.

Event venue

University of Bristol
Pugsley Lecture Theatre
Queen’s Building, University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TR
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Katie Sharrocks

e: [email protected]