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Mersey Tidal Power

Tackling the climate emergency is a global challenge that we can no longer afford to ignore.

Our young people have laid down a challenge to our nation’s leaders to save the planet. I am determined that in our region we will do all that we can to rise to that challenge. It’s about changing our behaviours. That doesn’t just mean cutting back and stopping what we do, but embracing new opportunities and technologies.

The River Mersey has been the lifeblood of our fortunes for centuries. I believe it holds the key to our future success too.

In our region, we have both the technological capability and the political will to be leaders of the Green Industrial Revolution and become Britain’s Renewable Energy Coast.

Developing our Mersey Tidal Power Project could mean generating enough power for up to 1 million homes, create thousands of local jobs, and our city region becoming a worldwide centre of excellence in a vital industry of the future.

I think that we have a unique opportunity to harness the power of our greatest natural assets – our river and our people – to deliver a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future for our children.

Over the last year, a team of global experts, based right here in the Liverpool City Region, has examined the case for tidal power. They have determined that there is a strong strategic case for taking forward a Mersey Tidal Power project. I also believe there is a strong moral case for it too – our planet’s future depends on it.

There is still a huge amount of work to do but I can’t wait to get to work. With the right support, we could be generating clean, renewable power by the end of the decade, growing our local economy and safeguarding the future of our planet for generations to come.

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

A Unique Opportunity for Liverpool City Region

The Liverpool City Region has one of the UK’s largest tidal ranges and a long history of research into tidal power. We have a unique opportunity to harness this heritage and the power of our tides to generate a plentiful, reliable supply of clean, green energy for generations to come.


A Leader in the Green Industrial Revolution

Existing strengths in wind, hydrogen and solar photovoltaic power, along with developments in clean transport, mean that we are already leading the way in developing a new, cleaner and greener economy. Delivering the Mersey Tidal Power Project would create thousands of jobs, with new skills, in the green economy. A game changer for Liverpool City Region and beyond.

A Net Zero Carbon Electricity Network

Onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic and nuclear power alone cannot fulfil the UK’s demand for electricity, with a doubling in demand for electricity from new technologies predicted by 2050. Low carbon technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage also have significant challenges to overcome.

A Key Part of a Diverse Clean Energy Mix

As we move away from fossil fuels, a diverse mix of generation is critical. Intermittency of the major renewable sources such as wind and solar power makes it hard to match supply with demand.

Tidal energy is predictable, flexible and reliable. It is a no-regrets, well established technology with minimal decommissioning needs and, alongside other renewables, tidal power can help fill these gaps.

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The idea of harnessing the tidal power of the River Mersey is not new. The first plans for a tidal barrage across the Mersey were produced back in 1924, with, reports and studies dating back to the 1980s. Operational tidal power schemes, like La Rance in France, date back as far as 1966.

The climate emergency, and improvements in turbine technology, mean that tidal power’s time has come.

Where are we now?

In late 2018, a team of global experts, based in Liverpool City Region, were commissioned to examine the case for Mersey Tidal Power. Building on previous work and through new studies, they have determined that, using cutting edge technology, there is a much stronger strategic case for taking forward a Mersey Tidal Power scheme.

Global Climate Emergency and our Local Environment

Global and local environmental considerations are at the heart of the project. We believe that the global climate emergency means we have a moral duty to pursue opportunities such as the Mersey Tidal Power Project. Local environmental considerations are also central to its development. We have already successfully deployed clean power technologies such as offshore wind in sensitive marine environments. Marine modelling has demonstrated the lower environmental impacts of new turbine technology with two-way generation and pumping. There is much scope for further mitigation through dialogue with environmental stakeholders as the project progresses.

What Happens Now?

There is a long way to go, with much more detailed work needed to arrive at a preferred option for the Mersey Tidal Power Project.

The Phase 2 findings have been reviewed by world-leading experts from the Mersey Tidal Commission Steering Group who have recommended that development work on the project is continued.

It is recommended that the next phase of work is taken forward over the next two years by a dedicated expert team within the Combined Authority, who will carry out the necessary technical studies and take forward a preferred option to planning.

They will focus primarily on:

  • Further environmental work.
  • Detailed energy and hydrodynamic modelling.
  • Detailed cost analysis and engagement with supply chain.
  • Government discussions to influence policy.
  • Funding and delivery model development.

Mersey Tidal Power News

More policy information

If you would like to learn more about our strategic investment fund policy or are looking for guidance and procedures to get involved with our strategic investment fund schemes then please visit our policy documents page. Our policy documents offer detailed information on the various policies.

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