The World’s first Tidal Lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay
Some good news for the renewable energy sector today, with the news that plans have been submitted to produce the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant.
Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Ltd are proposing the construction of an £850m, 8.5km u-shaped sea wall located just off Swansea docks.
Once built (by the end of 2017 if their timelines are met), the tidal lagoon power plant would produce enough electricity to power 120,000 homes in the Swansea area.
Better still, since it is a tidal power plant, the electricity production is 100% predictable – and so for 14 hours every day, the tidal power plant would produce 100% renewable electricity. The predictability of tidal energy is one of its major advantages over more traditional renewable energy sources, for example Wind turbines only produce energy when the wind blows, but tides are predictable decades in advance.
In fact, it is estimated that 98% of sea level variations are predictable, with the other 2% of unpredictability arising mainly from storms and the odd natural disaster (like an earthquake), therefore the ability to harness 100% clean energy from tides is key to our country becoming less dependant on fossil fuels.
You can learn more about tidal energy here.
The Severn Barrage Tidal Power Plant
I really hope that once built, the Tidal Lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay becomes a blueprint for future larger scale tidal power plants. For years there has been murmurings about the Severn Barrage, and we here at TheGreenAge are really big supporters of this. The potential to produce 5% of the UKs energy in predictable and 100% clean way is not something we should be turning our noses up at.
I am fully aware that there are some environmental impacts of building such a thing, in terms of birds being forced to feed elsewhere, but surely the benefits outweigh the negatives. I know the project in Swansea has the potential to power 120,000 homes, but the Severn Barrage could power 3,000,000 homes every day!
Why can’t the Government pick a sensible Infrastructure project!
As a final point, I just want to have a quick moan at the Government.
I know they have a tough job, but clearly strapped for cash (we hear about it every day with these austerity measures), they are still willing to fork out £43bn on HS2, a train line that will help shave an hour off a journey to Manchester and just 32 minutes off a trip to Birmingham (I get delayed on my normal commute by half and hour a day and still survive).
Surely they could redirect this money to projects that are actually going to provide real value – like securing our energy future.
Hopefully a successful tidal project at Swansea bay will make these kinds of projects more attractive to invest in going forward!