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Renewable energy

Water power: Tidal Power

The UK is one of the best places in the world when it comes to generating energy from the tides. There are several ways to do this, each with their own pros and cons.

In the Severn Estuary, between Wales and England, several methods are being explored. Three proposed projects for tidal power demonstrate some different approaches and their consequences.

How the Severn Barrage might look. Click to enlarge

Severn Estuary Barrage

An offshore tidal lagoon near Swansea

The SeaGen tidal turbine. Click to enlarge

Underwater open sea tidal turbines

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A design for the Severn Barrage. Click to enlarge

Pros and cons

Draw up a chart to compare the three designs in terms of:
• environmental impact
• building costs
• potential to adapt to changing needs

Precautionary principleText equivalent: Precautionary principleSome environmental groups fear that tidal power could have negative consequences for marine environments. Anticipating such risks is an essential part of the engineers' design task.Actions/inactions have consequencesText equivalent: Actions and inactions have consequencesClimate scientists say that we have to act very fast to reduce our CO2 emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Tidal power could be a big contributor to this aim. But projects like the Severn Barage could damage local wildlife. Is it better to act now with current designs for tidal power, or wait until more environmentally friendly designs come along?

What's your opinion?

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Current rating: 2.5/5 (from 2 votes cast)

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John Weenus 01-11-11 14:04
Bl**** Brilliant
daniel egg'n'mayo 17-09-12 09:38
OMG tis websyt OTT u g me :P