UK To Be Global Pioneers of Lagoon Based Power Plants
As regular readers here at Love Energy Savings will be able to tell you, we simply love new and innovative energy ventures. As such, we have been following with interest a story around lagoon based power plants, a concept the UK is looking to pioneer and push forward as a viable source of energy.
The idea is that electricity can be generated using a range of tidal lagoons and plans have been officially unveiled right here in the UK.
The lagoons, of which there are six, are located in Wales, Somerset and Cumbria can provide surges of energy via incoming and outgoing tides behind large walls. The weight of the water then powers turbines which can then generate electricity for businesses and homes across the country.
Proposed Lagoon Power Plants
- Colwyn Bay
- West Cumbria
The Swansea project is already in the infrastructure’s planning system and it is thought that the plant will be able to power as many as 155,000 homes. Although the costs involved are thought to be pretty high, but the firm backing the scheme has stated that future plants will be able to be run far more cheaply.
The total investment needed for the initiative is around the £30 billion mark and the six lagoons could provide around 8% of the UK’s electricity in future years. With other renewable energy ventures also proceeding nicely, the forthcoming lagoon project could complement things very nicely indeed.
The cost for this would be footed by electricity bill payers, via the government’s home grown, low carbon energy scheme. Although this may come to the chagrin of many, the benefits in the long term are believed to offset any initial costs.
We are always keen to hear the thoughts of Energy Secretary Ed Davey regarding such renewable energy ventures and he has stated that he wants to back lagoon based power plants in the UK.
"I can't make a decision on this yet because discussions are ongoing. But I'm very excited by the prospect of tidal power.
"We have got some of the biggest tidal ranges in the world and it would be really useful if we could harness some of that clean energy" he stated.
As with any energy project of this type, the implementation of lagoon based power plants will involve a great deal of engineering work. For instance, the Swansea site will stretch for five miles and go two miles off the coast into the sea.
The Cardiff lagoon site has plans for around 90 turbines in 22km of breakwater and will be able to produce electricity for roughly 14 hours every day.
With planning permission expected to be granted in the next couple of years, it is thought that lagoon based power generation could be operational in the UK by 2022.