Thursday, January 22, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 22nd January 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:We have a vast source of power all around our coastline but lack of investment over the years has meant that tidal power has become the Cinderella of the renewable technologies.

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon (SBTL) is set to become the largest marine energy development in the world if planning permission is given for the scheme this spring. A tidal lagoon generates electricity by releasing water through turbines in conjunction with the pressure variation caused by water level difference between lagoon and sea. The SBTL can generate electricity in both ebb and flow tides as the turbines can work efficiently in both directions.

The beauty of tidal power is that it is entirely predictable for years to come so that the amount of electricity that can be generated can easily be calculated. It is expected that SBTL will be able to produce enough power to supply 155,000 homes for 120 years.

The SBTL will be the start of a whole new era for South West Wales. The project will mean about 1850 new jobs in the construction phase and 60 long term jobs in operations. There will also be 90 jobs in the leisure industry. There are plans for a water sports centre, an offshore visitor centre and the creation of new wildlife habitats including sea reefs and seabed sanctuaries.

With 86% of the local population of Swansea and the surrounding area in favour of this development, let’s hope that the necessary planning permission will be granted.

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