After the British Government rejected using public funds to pay for a tidal energy project, private investors are working to revive to revive it.

Reuters is reporting that a group of developers want to build a tidal energy system in the Severn Estuary between England and Wales which they say is capable of generating 5 percent of Britain’s energy needs. They have presented their plans to the Ministry of Energy, which entail constructing a barrage across the estuary that would channel tidewater flow through turbines. Because of a 46 foot difference in water depth between high and low tide, the barrage would close at high tide to hold water until the tide goes out when it would then be released. This could generate 16 terawatt-hours of electricity each year for the Brits.

Development consortium Corlan Hafren estimates that construction of the system will cost a whopping $36 billion, which is one of the reasons it was rejected by the Department of Energy and Climate Change several times back in 2010. At that time, the project was estimated to cost at least $53 billion.

Tidal energy will play a valuable role in filling our energy needs for the future, and plans need to be put in place now in order to take advantage of it before fossil fuel prices skyrocket. With the public gun-shy about spending tax dollars on major energy investments and the government not willing to spend the money anyway, it may require private developers and investors to step in and play a major role in saving us from ourselves.

[via Reuters]

Image Credit: Sam, W/Flickr