U.K. offers funding to spur Severn Estuary tidal power ideas

The United Kingdom has launched a 500,000 pound (US$733,100) fund to stimulate additional tidal and wave power ideas for Severn Estuary. Applications are due May 1.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change said the fund is intended to help entrepreneurs and small businesses develop ideas for generating electricity from the Severn River and its giant estuary between England and Wales, which has tides up to 42 feet.

The government already shortlisted five proposals from a total of ten schemes to develop a Severn Estuary tidal power project that could have a capacity as high as 8,600 MW. (HNN 1/27/09) The department said the preliminary short list proposals and the original list of ten schemes would be subjected to a public consultation until April 23 before a final shortlist is chosen.

�As well as this short list, I am keen to keep innovative options on the table,� Energy and Climate Change Minister Mike O’Brien said. �That’s why we are inviting companies to bid for a share of the funds to accelerate progress.�

The fund is open to new proposals as well as those submitted to the feasibility study in response to last year’s call for proposals.

The closing date for bids is May 1. For information, see the department Internet site, http://severntidalpowerconsultation.decc.gov.uk.

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