Council continues to investigate tidal power

Torridge are exploring further the idea of harnessing tidal power. Pic: Julie Wicks Torridge are exploring further the idea of harnessing tidal power. Pic: Julie Wicks

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
8:00 AM

Wave power and community based activities such as biogas production are also a priority for the council.

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A MEETING with Rolls Royce has inspired a council to further investigate the possibility of harnessing renewable tidal energy in the Torridge Estuary.

Torridge District Council will be conducting further research into the idea as well as investigating the use of wave power and onshore, community based projects.

Barry Parsons, leader of the council, visited the power systems provider to discuss putting Torridge at the forefront of renewable tidal energy.

Cllr Parsons said the meeting was extremely valuable in terms of generating information and opening the council to new ideas.

He said: “We need to do our homework on this now as it is something we are very interested in, but it is still in the very early stages.

“We need a better understanding of the seabed composition and whether we have the necessary depth needed for any installation.

“Any turbines would need a solid base, not one that shifts around, and we’d need a depth of at least 40 metres.

“As well as this, any project we embark on would be very expensive and we would need to seek investment and look at who would bear the brunt of the costs.”

Cllr Parsons said using wave power would also be an option the council would consider.

“We need to focus on tidal power but if this does not look to be viable we need to look at other options such as wave power,” he said.

“I am also very keen to look at onshore methods of renewable energy in the private sector, such as biogas.

“Looking towards community based activities has real potential if we can cover the initial costs.”

The move comes after growing concerns around the number of wind turbine applications in the district.

Cllr Parsons added: “It is a high priority for the council to look at renewable forms of energy in Torridge which are not at the expense of the environment or hopefully our landscape.”

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