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Row Breaks Out Over Severn Barrage

Posted in Renewables,UK by Cheryl Morgan on the January 5th, 2009

Today’s Guardian reports on a row that has erupted over the bidding process for the proposed Severn Barrage. The scheme is now very high on the British government’s priority list because it promises a quick fix to the UK’s generation woes (at least 5GW of new renewable generation) and a high profile project that politicians can be photographed in front of and claim as a legacy. But will it be economic? And will it destroy valuable natural habitats and disrupt the local shipping economy? That depends on how it is implemented.

The DECC is currently looking at proposals for the project, but one bidder, Tidal Electric, which claims to have a low-cost, low-impact solution, complains that its bid has been disadvantaged because the consultants hired to run the selection process have changed the specifications of their plan so as to make it much more expensive.

This is, of course, going to be a very big project, so there is a lot of money at stake. Expect more such rows before (if ever) the project gets approval. It is a good time to be a lawyer.

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