Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tidal energy scheme is launched in South Cumbria

Tides could power 200,000 homes

A study to find ways of generating green energy using tidal power has been launched in Cumbria.

Experts think the Duddon Estuary near Barrow can generate enough energy to power 200,000 homes in South Cumbria.

The study will look at how best to harness the tidal power including building a large barrage across the mouth of the river.

It has been backed with grants from the Carbon Challenge Fund and Britain's Energy West Cumbria (BEWC).

BEWC said previous studies suggested that if a new scheme were built in the area, a new road would be constructed, cutting 17 miles off the current journey between Barrow and Millom.

Programme director Stuart Cowperthwaite said: "It is an ideal time to revisit and update the potential for tidal energy generation across the Duddon Estuary."


BEWC have commissioned consultants to undertake a feasibility study to identify the best options for any development because of the recent revival of interest in renewable energy schemes such as tidal barrages.

The launch of the Duddon Estuary feasibility study comes weeks after the publication of the Solway Firth Energy Feasibility Study which identified options for four tidal barrages, two lagoons and three tidal reefs.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, said: "The scheme will compliment the work we have undertaken for the Solway Firth and the Mersey.

"It will allow us to identify how we can help meet the government's targets relating to renewable energy generation and carbon reduction."

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