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A Severn Barrage or what?

06 April 2009

A public forum is to be held in Cardiff on Wednesday 8 April 2009 which will debate options for renewable energy from the Severn Estuary and seek to answer the question: "A Severn Barrage or what?"

The forum will provide an overview of proposed Severn Tidal Power Projects, addressing both economic benefits and environmental concerns. Organised by Professor Roger Falconer FREng of Cardiff University’s School of Engineering and Rudi Plaut CBE of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce), the event coincides with the Government's public consultation on whether a power project using the vast resources of the Severn Estuary could be supported.

Professor Falconer said: "The purpose of the Forum is to provide an independent platform and the necessary information to allow all interested people to form their own opinions and to convey them to government. We will be forwarding outcomes from the Forum to the Severn Tidal Power Consultation and participants will also be encouraged to submit their own views directly."

Rudi Plaut said: "The choice made by government now will have a major effect on the environmental, economic and tourism future of both sides of Severnside for decades if not hundreds of years. This conference aims to inform people in an unbiased way, so that they can make a powerful contribution to the public consultation. This is typical of the work of the RSA which aims to provide an interested but unbiased platform for public debate and influence."

The Forum is supported by Cardiff University, the RSA, British Science Association, WWF Cymru, the Institute of Directors (IoD), the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA),University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), and the Welsh Livery Guild.

Speakers at the event include James Colcombe, Severn Tidal Power SEA Study Manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff, Professor Roger Falconer, Morgan Parry, Head of WWF Cymru, Michael Evans, Environment Agency Wales, and Professor Brian Morgan, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

It takes place at the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Newport Road, with arrival from 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start. There will also be optional visits at 5.00pm to a unique physical model of the Severn Estuary located at Cardiff School of Engineering.

There is a registration fee of £15 which includes a buffet supper and prior booking is essential. A registration form and further details are available from RSA Wales and Western Region at: .


ENGIN1Severn Forum

Further Information:

For further information or to arrange an interview:

Professor Roger Falconer

Cardiff School of Engineering

T: 029 2087 4280 / 077 7564 0468


Rudi Plaut CBE

T: 029 2081 5204


Jessica Kelly

Public Relations Office

Cardiff University

T: 029 2087 0298