§ 37. Mr. Hayward
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what steps he is taking to promote tidal energy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Hunt
As my right hon. Friend announced on 9 July, the Department of Energy has initiated a major extension of its programme of research and development on tidal energy. The chief features of the programme comprise: advanced investigation and site exploration of a Severn barrage near to Cardiff and Weston-super-Mare; support for the cost of studies into a barrage across the Mersey estuary conducted by the Mersey Barrage Company; a set of generic tidal energy studies complementary to these two major projects.
I regard tidal energy as one of the most promising of the renewable energy sources, and I therefore wish to discover as quickly as possible whether it can make a significant and economic contribution to electricity supply.