Debate over tidal power potential in harbour

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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TIDAL power could one day be possible in Langstone Harbour if the right technology came along, a community leader has said.

Jackie Branson, chairwoman of Langstone Harbour Board, said the authority has had a number of approaches with a view to developing tidal energy in the harbour.

But she said a scheme generating electricity was not a viable option at the present time.

She said any scheme would be limited by the fact the energy can only be harnessed when the tide rushes in and out of the harbour, not 24 hours a day.

Space is also limited at the harbour entrance due to boats coming in and out.

She said: ‘If there was a way that Langstone Harbour Board could make money from renewable energy we would definitely be looking into it.

‘Tidal energy is still in its early stages and still developing.

‘Maybe in the future it could happen, but currently it’s not economical.’

A report by the Langstone Harbour Board says the authority should be aware of the potential for tidal power, which is being explored at other UK locations including the Severn Estuary and the Orkney islands.

The report states: ‘The board is not in a position to put forward a scheme of its own but it is appropriate to keep in mind the possibility that those with the necessary resource may make proposals in future.’