Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams unveils renewable energy proposals

2.25.00pm BST (GMT +0100) Thu 16th Apr 2009

Severn Crossings cash only tolls face powerful challenge

Stephen Williams MP has helped to unveil plans to generate renewable energy using the power of the Severn estuary.

Stephen and fellow Liberal Democrat MPs, plus Welsh Assembly Members and councillors from both sides of the estuary, have produced a report which proposes to build a barrage across the Severn, which will create tidal energy and contribute power to the National Grid. The report rejects the large scale barrage between Weston and Penarth and opts instead for a shorter barrage roughly adjacent to the existing Severn road crossings. This has been referred to by engineers as the 'shoots barrage'. The report also recommends that a barrage on this alignment could be enhanced by high speed rail crossing between England and Wales as part of the electrification of the line from Paddington to Cardiff. The Lib Dem team also suggested that the Government's marine energy research fund should be directed at researching the feasibility of a tidal reef.

Stephen Williams says "This report sends a strong message to the Labour governments in Cardiff and London about the commitment of the Liberal Democrats to finding sustainable energy solutions. The shoots barrage could be built in a relatively short timescale and could make a major contribution to our 2020 carbon reduction targets. I also believe it a major opportunity for an enhancement of our national rail network."

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