Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram cites national need for Mersey Tidal Power Project to “keep the lights on” and avoid future energy crisis
- Strong strategic case for taking the project forward
- UK demand for electricity to double by 2050
- Could power up to one million homes
- Plans to commit £2.5m for the next phase of developing the scheme
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, will today announce progress and plans for the next phase of the Mersey Tidal Power Project, as the cornerstone of the city region’s response to the climate emergency. (Friday, 28 February 2020).
After a year-long study, commissioned by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, a team of industry-leading experts has concluded that there is a strong strategic case for taking the project forward to address potential future energy shortfalls, tackle the climate emergency, achieve zero carbon targets, and support a more stable renewable energy mix.
The study found that:
- The UK’s demand for electricity is set to double by 2050 due to electric vehicles and as existing industries decarbonise
- Tidal power has a key role to play in meeting this demand from renewable sources, as fossil fuels are phased out
- Tidal power is predictable, flexible and reliable, complementing the intermittent nature of other major renewables like wind and solar power
- It could generate much more power than previously thought possible, with cutting edge turbine technologies now capable of generating power efficiently on both the ebb and flow of the tide.
- This flexibility in operation, with variable turbine speed and the ability to pump water efficiently, can help significantly in mitigating local environmental impacts
This afternoon (Friday, 28 February), the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will be asked to approve £2.5m to carry out the next phase of work and develop a preferred option to take forward to planning.
Speaking about the Mersey Tidal Power Project, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:
“With demand for electricity set to double by 2050, the UK will face an energy crisis if the government doesn’t support large scale renewable projects like Mersey Tidal Power, which are key to keeping the lights on.
“So far our work shows that Mersey Tidal Power could generate enough energy for up to 1 million homes, create thousands of jobs and make our region Britain’s renewable energy coast.
“Our unique geography makes us one of the only places in the UK where it is possible to generate massive quantities of predictable, renewable tidal electricity. With the right government support, we could be generating clean power by the end of the decade – a full ten years ahead of the city region’s zero carbon 2040 target.
“But this will require Boris Johnson to not only talk about ‘levelling up’ the North, but to step up and address the imbalance in how major projects are assessed and funded. We know that Mersey Tidal Power has the potential to provide energy for well over 100 years, but the government’s current formula does not take that into account, instead using a 35 year timescale.
“So today, I’m calling on government to look seriously at our project and help us make this a reality. Not only will it help to make Britain a worldwide technological leader, but also a global leader in tackling the climate emergency.”
It is calculated that the Mersey Tidal Power scheme could have the potential to generate up to four times the energy of all of the wind turbines in Liverpool Bay, which would be enough to power up to one million homes, 500 football stadiums, or send an electric train around the world 3554 times.