25th May 2007
Cllr Martin Whiteside, the Green party's Parliamentary candidate for Stroud who attended last Novembers' County Council Symposium looking at the Severn Barrage proposals, said: "We are very excited about the possibilities of using tidal power. However there are better solutions than the barrage which will take as much as 18 years to develop, will cost many billions and have potentially hugely negative environmental impacts."
Photo: River Severn
Martin Whiteside said: "Following a detailed investigation by the Green Party into the renewable energy options in the River Severn, a discussion in Stroud, a seminar in Bristol and an expert panel session at the party’s spring conference, we have, on the basis of the current evidence, backed overwhelmingly the development of lagoons and tidal stream turbines as opposed to a Severn barrage. The lagoons offer the potential to deliver greater outputs and more control over energy production, but they are also more affordable and offer the least damaging solution to the River Severn’s vitally important ecology. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have less than 8 years in which to act to tackle climate change – we cannot wait 18 years for a barrage we must act now. We cannot afford to support renewable energy solutions which take years to start working and further damage the region’s environment.”
Martin Whiteside commenting on the energy white paper this week: "We have seen 10 years of rising CO2 emissions, now we have another Commons statement, another white paper and another lot of consultation, but we are not anywhere near on course for a low carbon economy. It is time for action now."
For a copy of questions sent to Gloucestershire County councillors ahead of their seminar see here