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Liverpool unveil plans for World’s largest tidal range scheme

Liverpool City Region’s Mayor Steve Rotheram has unveiled plans to build the world’s largest tidal scheme between the Wirral and Liverpool, for the city region’s flagship Mersey Tidal Power project.

The project would be the largest tidal range scheme in the world, the ‘range’ being the difference in height between the high tide and the low tide.

The Mayor said: ‘The River Mersey has been the lifeblood of our region’s fortunes for centuries – and it has an even more vital role to play in our future. Where our area was once a leader in the First Industrial Revolution, we now have an opportunity to seize our chance to become a leader in the Green Industrial Revolution.

‘Mersey Tidal Power has the potential to generate clean, predictable energy for 120 years, create thousands of green jobs and apprenticeships – and all but seal our area’s status as Britain’s Renewable Energy Coast. Beyond the banks of the River Mersey, this is a national infrastructure asset that could position the UK as a global leader in the renewables race and help to turbocharge our net zero ambitions.

‘We are under no illusions, we know there are still significant technical and financial challenges to overcome, but the plans we’ve unveiled today mark a huge step on our journey to bringing Mersey Tidal Power to life. Quite simply, the case for tidal has never been clearer – both for our economy and our planet.’

The barrage scheme would be the first of its kind in the UK and could generate clean, predictable energy for 120 years and create thousands of jobs in its construction and operation.

The design also incorporates a first-ever cycling and pedestrian route over the river between Liverpool and Wirral and could also provide a defence against future flooding risks associated with climate change.

A lagoon option was also considered but it was determined that a barrage option would be less expensive, requiring less material and lower levels of government support.

When the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meets later this week, it will be asked to approve the submission of a scoping opinion to the Planning Inspectorate later this year for the scheme.

Over the last three years, the authority has undertaken early technical work to develop the potential scope of the scheme, which could be up and running within a decade, playing a huge role in the region’s push to be net zero carbon by 2040 – at least a decade ahead of national targets.

Councillor David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Net-Zero and Air Quality, said: ‘Existing strengths in wind and solar power and emerging strengths in hydrogen mean that our city region is already leading the way in developing a cleaner and greener economy. Harnessing the power of the River Mersey to generate green and predictable energy for the next 100 years and more would be an incredible addition to our clean energy mix. We need to ensure we are extremely aware of our sensitive local ecology but just reaching this stage in the Mersey Tidal Power project has taken a huge amount of hard work allied with vision and would be a big step towards it becoming a reality.’



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