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New plan for Severn barrage alternative

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

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A vast amount of renewable energy could be generated without the need for a giant offshore barrage stretching from the Westcountry to South Wales, a new report claims.

Environmental groups have warned that plans for a power plant across the Severn estuary, which could cost as much as £34 billion, could leave households with hefty bills and cause widespread environmental damage.

But a lower-risk strategy could provide up to 14 gigawatts (GW) of low carbon energy without harming nature, the report argues.

Environmentalists including Friends of the Earth and the RSPB have welcomed the new approach.

Regen South West, the industry body which supports the generation of green energy has joined forces with consultancy firm Marine Energy Matters, to produce the discussion document.

Johnny Gowdy, programme director at Regen SW, said such large-scale projects needed to "build consensus" on both sides of the border.

"We need to get away from a divisive argument between proponents of renewable energy and the environment," he added.

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