Economics Of The Barrage

£15 Billion is quoted as the cost. Even with the usual cost rises during construction, this is a paltry sum compared with Northern Rock (£25 billion), Nuclear Power decommissioning (£70 billion) and other Government spending frivolities.

The long payback period means that private investment will not be favoured. The Sustainble Development Commission favours the use of public money only.

Carbon payback time, calculated by the embodied energy of the Barrage. Estimates are for a few years.

The financial payback time would not be strictly relevant if public money is used, but estimates are that it would be competitive with the average City investment. Wider financial estimates (in terms of climate change costs avoided, and protection of cities against sea level rise) would make the Barrage even more favourable.

There is a problem concerning cost comparisons with nuclear and coal, since these have both received massive Government subsidies in the past, and indeed are still receiving such subsidies, whereas renewable energy generally receives relatively tiny subsidies.

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