MPs in the UK have begun a parliamentary enquiry into the proposed plans for a barrage across the Severn Estuary.
Both supporters and opponents are to appear before the Energy and Climate Change committee to discuss the plans for the major project.
The barrage, which would cost around £30B to develop, could provide 5% of the UK’s energy needs if given the go ahead. However, opponents of the scheme say it costs outweigh its benefits.
Labour MP and Former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has strongly backed the scheme, telling the committee that it could create thousands of jobs while helping to tackle climate change and produce a large percentage of the country’s electricity.
Green groups have however said that the benefits of the scheme are outweighed by potential environmental impacts, and that the falling cost of wind and solar energy mean the barrage has no business case.
The UK’s Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said previously that if the right proposals were submitted, the UK government would consider them, BBC News reported.
Original plans for a barrage were rejected by the government in October 2010 as being too expensive and too high risk. New developer Hafren Power is prosing to use smaller turbines that utilize both the rising and falling tide and operate at slower speeds.