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The Severn barrage debate
A barrage across the River Severn's estuary could be a major source of renewable energy, but at what cost? BBC Gloucestershire's Andy Barnard investigates.
Global warming, diminishing oil reserves and the safety issues surrounding nuclear power means the search for safe, inexpensive energy is intensifying.
But there's no such thing as a free lunch; and although renewable energy wears a big 'green' badge potentially there's still a high price to pay.
For a while now, groups have been debating the impact of a barrage across the River Severn's Estuary. Although discussed for years, never has its construction seemed quite as urgent.
This could become one of the nation's key energy sources, providing up to 6% of our electricity. But how would the barrage affect the life of the Severn?
In a series of three video reports, Andy Barnard travels around the region and over to the continent to assess its possible effects.
He also looks into a smaller, but similar scheme in France: the Rance Estuary, between St Malo and Dinard.
Despite its limited size, this facility produces 3% of Brittany's electricity. So with the Severn Estuary nearby, are we sitting on one of the most valuable power resources in the country, if not the world?
Part two sees Andy Barnard looking for clues as to how a post-barrage Severn might behave, while part three investigates the possible ecological consequences of the project.
last updated: 15/04/2008 at 09:41