UK to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plants
May 5, 2015 4 Comments
This actually could be a good idea. Of course, like all potentially good ideas, it’s not new. I can remember reading about it back in the seventies, which doesn’t mean that it hasn’t become viable since.
It’s easy to forget that it’s possible to generate electricity not by burning coal or splitting atoms, but using the power of the sea. One company has thought long and hard about the process and is set to change the way Britain generates its renewable energy. Under new plans, Tidal Lagoon Power hopes to build the world’s first lagoon power plants, creating six giant structures — four of which will be built in Wales, with two in England — that will harness powerful coastal tides and generate as much as 8 percent of the UK’s total power.
The company has already put its best foot forward, starting work on a £1 billion plant in Swansea that already has the backing of energy secretary Ed Davey. Even though it’ll be one of the smallest installations, the lagoon will measure five miles across and stretch two miles out to sea, serving not only as significant power source but also as destination for locals. It’ll work by isolating a large space of water, which drives a series of turbines set into the wall as the tidal levels rise and fall throughout the day.
The UK government is keen to back renewable energy projects, so the £30 billion investment needed to build the ambitious lagoons will be met by taxpayers. Wales will host three lagoons in Cardiff, Newport and Colwyn Bay (as well as the one in Swansea) and there’ll be one in Bridgwater Bay, Somerset and another in West Cumbria.
The good thing about tidal power is that barring a lunar catastrophe, sea movements are completely predictable. Wind turbines can stall if it’s a particularly calm day, while solar panels only achieve maximum output when it’s clear and sunny. Marine experts have their reservations, including fears that fish could be sucked into turbines, but Tidal Lagoon Power believes the lagoons will ultimately benefit local ecosystems by serving as artificial reefs.
More at UK to build the world’s first tidal lagoon power plants, including video.
You know, I could support this type of renewable energy, it has its attractions, if they were willing to bet their own money on it. But they aren’t. They want to do it the corrupt way, betting the taxpayers money, so they’ll get rich, no matter what. The proper model is to build it with your own money, and get rich or lose your shirt.
That’s the way Britain (and the US) did it in the nineteenth century, and history is littered with failures but also incredible successes, sometime both for the same people.
And so, for me, it’s not a viable plan, because they don’t believe in it enough to bet their own money and so why should I?
It’s simply another corrupt corporatist scheme to bilk the taxpayers, this time the British ones, and enrich ‘special interests’.
Hat tip to “The Unit” for the link. 🙂