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The tide is turning

January 11, 2017

 

Earlier this week a government-commissioned review led by Charles Hendry, former Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, backed plans to develop tidal energy facilities, most notably a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay.

 

The tidal power of the River Severn and it's "Wash" have long been touted as a possible solution to the looming energy gap the country faces. Unfortunately, developing this concept has been incredibly slow and only seems to be being revisited whenever there is a significant increase in the cost of importing electricity.

 

The concept of tidal energy is relatively straightforward; turbines are strategically placed and are powered by the significant tidal currents beneath the surface of the water. When implemented, this form of energy generation is efficient, significant and has a minimal impact on the environment. 

 

As an island nation, this sort of renewable energy makes an awful lot of sense. In fact, most renewable technologies make sense in the UK. We're surrounded by water, it's pretty windy a lot of the time and we get quite a bit of sunshine. This sort of development should be prioritised well ahead of projects like HS2 and arguable ahead of nuclear projects.

 

In the long term, the project hopes to build a network of sites, providing significant input to the National Grid. Hopefully the goverment will realise that there needs to be significant investment in the energy infrastructure in this country. While other things may seem important, it's difficult for a train running on overhead power to reach 250mph if there's not enough electricity to power it.

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