IPA report slams viability of Barrage


[ Click here to download the report - 8mb pdf ]

A report by the IPA Economics for the Renewable Energy Forum presented at the recent British Hydropower Association Annual Conference in Bristol has cast grave doubts on the viability of a barrage across the Severn1.

The report is highly technical, looking in great detail at the electricity demand curve and comparing it to the ever moving generating capacity of the Barrage. Tides, after all, change in time and intensity throughout the day, week and the year. The report goes on to point out that any attempts to stretch generation from the Barrage simply increases the cost of the electricity generated.

In a recent regional poll commissioned by the Stop the Barrage NOW campaign, over 85% of respondents said they had failed to appreciate that the Barrage would only produce electricity for up to 6 hours in every 24 hour cycle.

The wide variation in generating capacity – from 40GW per day at spring tides to 15GW per day at low neap tides – makes for higher costs.

Worse still, a Barrage would produce virtually no contribution to winter peak electricity demand. And as if this were not enough, the spin-off costs to the entire electricity generating system would be substantial. In IPA’s summary, the cracks in the case for the Barrage appear to widen:

“[A barrage]….would require a greater degree of flexibility than is currently required to meet the existing demand profile. This would be likely to increase the number of start ups, the amount of part-load operations (i.e. running plant below its optimum level of efficiency) and two shifting (i.e. taking plant on and off load)”.

The “Stop the Barrage NOW” campaign will continue to review the evidence available and will draw attention to the false claims made that the Barrage can carry on generating “free” electricity for 120 years.

The campaign will be looking at evidence particularly from fixed barriers over tidal waters in other countries showing that siltation will, over a relatively short time, destroy the tidal energy which drives the generators.

Anyone who would like more information should visit the Stop the Barrage NOW website at www.stopthebarrage.com

Notes to editors
1. Severn Barrage costing exercise, IPA for the Renewable Energy Forum, 2008. This report will be posted on the Stop the Barrage NOW website shortly.
2. The British Hydropower Association Annual Conference took place in Bristol on 17-18 September 2008.

For further information please contact:
Katrina James or Debbie Smith, Stop the Barrage press office
Tel: 0117 317 8117 or 07843 087 861(Katrina) 07778790015 (Debbie)
Email: katrina@stopthebarrage.com debbie@stopthebarrage.com

[ Click here to download the report - 8mb pdf ]

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