The ‘Shoots Barrage’: An Indicative Energy Technology Assessment of a Tidal Power Scheme
Several tidal power schemes have been proposed for the River Severn Estuary between the South West of England and Wales. An indicative technology assessment has been undertaken in order to evaluate the so-called ‘Shoots Barrage’ over its foreseen lifespan of 120 years in terms of its cradle-to-site, operation and maintenance requirements. It would be located just upriver of the Severn road crossings in the United Kingdom (UK), involve an estimated cost of £3.2 bn to construct, and could potentially generate around 2.7 TWh per year (or a little under 1% of UK electricity demand). This scheme is favoured by environmental groups, because to its more benign environmental impacts compared with the much larger, Cardiff-Weston scheme. The present analysis suggests that the proposed Shoots Barrage would yield relatively attractive ‘figures of merit’ in terms of its net energy and carbon emissions, although its financial performance is poorer than alternative power generators.