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Tidal energy from the Severn Estuary

Event organised by ICE

19 February 2018

This event has now ended

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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.

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