Aug 22, 2012 - British prime minister David Cameron has called on his ministers to re-examine a project for the construction of a 6.5-GW tidal power system along the Severn estuary, the Guardian reported on Monday.
The project, which is being promoted by former Labour minister Peter Hain, would cost GBP 30 billion (USD 47bn/EUR 38bn). If built, the tidal power scheme would be able to generate 5% of the UK’s electricity, the report said. The system could be operational for over 120 years.
A similar plan was rejected by Chris Huhne, the former British energy and climate change minister, in 2010 as it was dubbed too expensive for the taxpayer. However, under the revised proposal backed by Hain all the funds are to come from private investors.
In a letter to Cameron, seen by the Guardian, Hain said that a number of sovereign wealth funds have already signalled they would be interested in participating in the project as long as the British government voices its support in principal for the idea. London should also provide authorisation for the project and ensure the stability of the electricity price for 25-30 years through a feed-in tariff or some other mechanism, the Guardian quoted the letter as reading.
According to media reports, the prime minister had met Hain in July to discuss the project and had reportedly called on his policy chief Oliver Letwin and energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey to consider the barrage idea.
(GBP 1 = USD 1.580/EUR 1.267)
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