Government consultation unnecessarily limited, says WWF


WWF Cymru wants the public to join the three month public consultation which begins today and respond to all ten options and not just those recommended by the Government which focuses on the barrage and tidal lagoon technologies.

Today’s announcement is the Second Phase of the Government’s Feasibility Study into the Severn Estuary which was set up over a year ago to gather information on the costs, benefits and environmental challenges of using the estuary to generate power.

WWF believes that if the aim of the Feasibility Study and the public consultation is to produce reliable, low carbon electricity in the long-term then all projects should be tested against the requirements of the Habitats Directive.

Morgan Parry, Head of WWF Cymru said: “WWF believes that a revolution in our energy systems is vital if we are to meet the challenges of climate change and energy security. WWF is pleased that lagoons are being considered as alternatives to the big barrage. However, in not shortlisting other more innovative ideas, the Government may be compromising its ability to find the most sustainable solution”

“We urge the public to seriously consider the alternatives, such as the Tidal Fence and Tidal Steam proposals and for the Government to invest time and money in bringing them to an advanced state of readiness. This is not only fair, but the Habitats Directive requires it. WWF would also like a clear assurance from the Government that these technologies, which are being supported with £500,000 of new funding, will be given serious consideration and public scrutiny before the Feasibility Study is completed.”

“We have argued for many years that there are better ways of generating power from the tides than through fixed concrete barrages and we must keep all these options open. WWF believes the public consultation should be about expanding the Government’s thinking and testing new technology that may provide greater energy output, economic benefits and reduce environmental impacts.”

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