The economics of the Severn Barrage are flawed. The Barrage will be the most expensive form of renewable energy – even more expensive than offshore wind-farms. The Barrage will only generate power for 23% of each day.

Because the energy produced is dependent on the movement of the tides, energy production will peak when there is often little demand, causing chaos to existing power supplies. According to a recent report by The Renewable Energy Forum;

“Of all different technologies investigated the Severn Barrage proposal has the greatest capital costs”. “… the energy production costs of the Severn barrage is significantly greater than for the other generation (coal, gas, onshore wind, offshore wind and nuclear) sources”.

A recent study by Frontier Economics commissioned on behalf of the National Trust, the RSPB and WWF, amongst others, concluded that;

“…a large barrage on the Severn is expensive compared to alternatives ways of generating renewable electricity; and there appears to be sufficient capacity to use other technologies to meet… Government’s targets”.

 Ports and Shipping

The Barrage would have a major detrimental effect on the maritime industry. The Severn Estuary is home to four commercial ports: Bristol, Cardiff, Newport, and Sharpness /Gloucester. These ports and the services that they support are responsible for handling around 3% of UK trade (17.2 million tonnes of freight in 2004). It is estimated that the Bristol and South Wales ports generate over 15,000 jobs between them, with many more jobs held in port-based companies.

The Barrage will damage all of these ports. In its recent report on tidal power and the Barrage, the Sustainable Development Commission, acknowledged the risk to ports;

“There could be significant adverse economic impacts on a particular port, or set of ports, as a result of a Severn barrage due to a potential displacement of port activity or a limit on certain forms of expansion.”

What Can You Do?

• Sign the petition

• Write to your local MP

• Lobby your local   Councillor