RSP Home River Severn Tales Chris Witts Government Unveil their 5 Choices for Harnessing the Power of the Severn

27th January 2009


Ed Milliband, the Government Minister for Energy & Climate Change, yesterday unveiled his 5 preferred choices for harnessing the power of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary.


Amongst his choices is the controversial 10 mile barrage which could generate 5% of UK electricity. This scheme though would come at a great cost and damage to nature, including the end of the world famous Severn Bore!


The 5 choices on the final shortlist are:


  1. Cardiff to Weston super Mare barrage. Ten miles of concrete across the Bristol Channel, generating 5% of the UK’s energy needs.
  2. The Shoots barrage. A barrage across the Severn Estuary close to the Second Severn Crossing bridge. Would generate about 1GW, equivalent to a large fossil fuelled power station.
  3. A Beachley barrage. A barrage across the River Wye, generating only 625MW.
  4. The Bridgwater Bay lagoon. Harnessing a section of the Bristol Channel from east of Hinkley Point to Weston super Mare. Generating about 1.36GW.
  5. Fleming lagoon. Similar to the previous option with a lagoon located between Newport and the S.S.C bridge.


These options will now form part of a three month study with a decision made in 2010. Ed Milliband insists that he has not lost sight of other ideas which had formed part of a list of ten schemes under consideration. This includes a 12 mile tidal reef which would have had less impact on wildlife.


Many groups against a barrage across the Bristol Channel voiced their anger on hearing the news yesterday. Because any scheme would not be operational until the 2020’s they argue that the Government should not rule out less damaging schemes like a tidal reef.



See also

The Barrage

Recession could sink the barrage

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