England’s Northwest has reached an important milestone in its quest to determine the feasibility of harnessing the tidal power of the Mersey.
Peel Energy and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) have reaffirmed their commitment to the ‘Power from the Mersey’ project by launching a comprehensive feasibility study.
The Mersey Estuary is one of the best locations for a tidal power generation scheme. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to the Government's target to secure 15% of UK energy from renewable sources by 2020.
A large scheme could deliver enough renewable electricity to meet the needs of a significant proportion of the homes within the Liverpool City Region.
A team led by Scott Wilson, EDF, and Drivers Jonas, and supported by RSK, APEM, HR Wallingford, Regeneris, Turner & Townsend, University of Liverpool and a number of other advisors, has been appointed to undertake the study.
The feasibility study will identify a single preferred tidal power scheme that stands the greatest chance of delivering the maximum affordable energy from the tidal resources in the Mersey Estuary, while taking into consideration its impact on the environment, shipping, business and the community, as well as options for mitigation or compensation.
A number of wider economic and social benefits would be felt, including the development of significant facilities and skills to support the advancement of renewable energy technologies and supply chains; improvements to local infrastructure and the development of a leisure opportunity and tourist attraction.
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) said:
“Currently, over 40% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions come from energy usage, which could be reduced by investing in renewable energy sources.
“The energy and environmental technologies sector makes a vital contribution to the Northwest’s economy, employing over 50,000 people, while renewable and low carbon energy sources such as wind, tidal, biomass and biofuels are in operation throughout the region.
“As one of the region’s natural assets, the Mersey Estuary presents a number of options for sustainable energy, providing a further source for renewable energy, as well as making an important contribution to towards the Governments Renewable Energy targets by 2020.”
Anthony Hatton, Development Director from Peel Energy said:
“We are delighted to have launched the next phase of this important project. The interest and support from all sectors is a true indication of many people’s desire to harness the significant energy resource in the Mersey.
“We are confident that the approach being adopted by the team will take into account the important environmental, commercial and public interests in and around the Mersey estuary, supported by regular dialogue with interested parties.”