Severn Estuary Destroyed To Make Green Energy?
by Alan Harten
January 27, 2009
In many countries around the world people and businesses accept that there is not a limitless supply of energy.
Many places, including whole towns, accept the premise that the power company simply runs out of electricity and has to interrupt supplies for hours on end.
This is a concept which we in Britain cannot really imagine.
We believe that we have an absolute right to constant electricity for brewing our tea and watching Coronation Street.
But the fact is that we need more electricity to meet the ever increasing demands from more homes and businesses, and within a few years electric vehicles may also become a massive drain on the national grid.
The problem is that as a conscientious nation we do not want this additional power to come from traditional polluting power stations. We and the government want clean energy.
The government has already made it clear that it intends one fifth of all power produced in the country to come from renewable systems, and that it plans to make that a reality in the next decade.
The government has put forward several proposals including a shortlist of possible locations for huge renewable energy sources.
One heavily favoured location is the environmentally sensitive Severn estuary.
The government is proposing a large scale electricity project that will make use of the strong tides that run in an out of the estuary each day.
The project that is said to be most favoured by the government is a barrage that would stretch from Weston-super-mare to Cardiff, a distance of 10 miles.
The attraction of the Severn estuary as opposed to any other location in the country is the fact that its tides are the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.
Environmentalists claim that such a scheme, the biggest construction project since the Channel Tunnel, will devastate local wildlife and biodiversity across the whole estuary and the lagoons along its shores.
Many of these environmentalists, who include the Royal society for the protection of birds (RSPB), say that the government is proposing a complete contradiction in helping to reduce global warming by destroying a whole area’s biodiversity.
They say that the 70,000 migrating birds that make use of the estuary during the winter will be driven out by the physical changes that a barrage would certainly produce.
The proposals will now go on to a second stage to see just how viable the £15 billion project will be and if it indeed would be capable of producing 5% of the entire country’s power needs.
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