A solutions appraisal tool to address the environmental impacts of tidal lagoons

Kathryn Mackinnon, Helen Smith, Francesca Moore, Adriaan Van Der Weijde, Iraklis Lazakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The deployment of renewable energy is regarded as a strategy to combat climate change. There have been a number of global agreements aiming to mitigate climate change, the most recent of which was the 2015 Paris Agreement. Often overlooked is the vast amount of marine renewable energy available around the world’s coastlines. In particular tidal range energy is a largely untapped resource which has benefits including reduced uncertainty through use of proven technology, a high level of predictability, the ability to phase shift energy to provide base load supply and a long expected life span (100 years). The key barriers to development of tidal range energy have been environmental concerns and high capital cost. Tidal lagoons are often presented as environmentally friendly alternatives to tidal barrages, but this does not mean their environmental impacts can be overlooked. Recent developments in the UK lagoon industry such as the awarding of a Development Consent Order to Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, mean it is now more important than ever to consider the environmental impacts of tidal lagoons and what solutions are available to address them. This is challenging considering there are no operational tidal lagoons in the world yet. This study aims to: 1. Identify the key impacts through industry engagement 2. Find available solutions through systematic review 3. Select and analyze solutions using Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) and Ecosystem Service Valuation (ESV).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoastal Engineering Proceedings
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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