Rotheram argues case for Mersey tidal power project

The Metro Mayor has chosen a team of consultants including Arup, ABPmer, BECG, and Grant Thornton to draw up an outline business case for a tidal power scheme on the Mersey, one of the key elements of the city region’s plan to be zero-carbon by 2040.

Dubbed a “multi-billion-pound” project by Rotheram, plans were first unveiled for the scheme in 2017 with the Mayor appointing former Dong Energy UK chairman Brent Cheshire to work up initial plans in November of the same year.

Under these early plans, a tidal energy scheme on the Mersey and in Liverpool Bay could generate enough power for up to one million homes.

The team led by Arup will now draw up an outline business case for the scheme, including a technical, financial, economic, and environmental assessment, which will inform the Combined Authority on the future of the project. The business case is expected to take 12 months to bring together.

Rotheram said: “Tidal power has the potential to generate a huge amount of renewable energy, helping us to hit our target of being zero carbon by 2040, while boosting economic growth for everyone in our city region, and creating thousands of jobs in its design, construction and beyond.

“Devolution gives us the scale and powers necessary to pursue this kind of transformative project and the opportunity to shape the skills we need for our local economy, which means we can ensure that our children and young people develop in the areas they would need to benefit from these jobs.”

“If we are successful in delivering this project, we would become a global leader in tidal technology and export our expertise around the world.”

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The time and effort Rotherham is expending on this would be better spent addressing more fundamental issues such as the desperate need for new large white collar employers to reverse the hollowing out of this sector which Liverpool has been subjected to for many years now.

By Morgan

I think the whole problem here is what rate the tariff will be for the electricity produced. I have been involved in preparing projects all over the world for renewable energy proposals, for solar, wind and water. The most important factor we encounter is ROI and this depends on the tariff revenues and also how long will it take to recoup investors money. So who is going to buy the electricity, for what price and for how long etc. I am in favour of investment for the LCR, but feel it might be better served in other areas. One last thought, if it goes ahead, lets see a road on it to connect Wirral and Liverpool, say mid mersey a small toll should enable extra revenue for the ROI?

By causal observer

@causal observer. I see the benefit of this scheme as also connecting the Wirral and Liverpool, and providing a means for folk to walk and cycle from one area to another. This should also reduce the carbon footprint of the area. I think this scheme would also really benefit Birkenhead and aid its regeneration. However, I am not convinced this scheme will happen as it will surely need huge amounts of central government money.

By Chris

This has been getting bandied about for about 40 years – the first time I recall it being brought up was late 70s early 80s. It has taken all forms from a tiny thing that wouldn’t run a torch bulb to something linking Wirral to Liverpool that would allegedly generate more power than the sun. And the powers-that-be are STILL talking about it. What they have never ever resolved is who was going to fund it. Hopefully, with advances in technology, there will be a time when this is feasible.

By D

Renewable energy is more and more profitable. Liverpool Bay has three estuaries. A scheme for this whole area could be built in stages: the first one across the Mersey linking Liverpool with Birkenhead and a toll road cycle/walking path above. With the expertise developed in LCR it could be rolled out to the Ribble, the Dee, and the wider Liverpool Bay area. Liverpool’s prosperity was built on the Mersey and a sustainable future could be too.

By Roscoe

Good to see the regions chipping in with ideas on what to do. Some has to be done and we can’t wait for Central government to do it. If only the scheme had been built in the 70s

By Harry M

Once again this good scheme wont see the light of day. Its a London centric anti-Liverpool thing. I think the only city in Europe where every form of river crossing has to be paid for locally. Infrastructure, Crossrail 1 & 2, Heathrow runway, HS1 etc just happen; ……elsewhere???????

By Billy

This scheme will add to Liverpool’s global historic credentials being the first and only one of its type anywhere in the world in addition to electric trains, tunnels, ships and rotating theatres which were pioneered here in the 1400s. Everybody knows this and to deny it would be to show bias against this world first global historic city and its billion strong population / historic global diaspora.

By Tony

Zero carbon is all very well but the mersey has invaluable feeding beds for migratory species which will need very careful consideration before jumping to grand plans

By Andy

All this money that is being spent on goals for 2050 is phenomenal. Hydrogen, electric cities, smart cities, Mersey Tidal. CCUS, none of it is joined up – if this money was spent properly in India or China would have a far more beneficial impact on climate control and the environment – but this will never happen. This is ‘greenwash’

By Johnny Herbert

A publicly funded outline business case for this was last worked on less than 10 years ago and found the high initial capital cost and tariff it would require would make it unviable.Rather than employ a whole load of new consultants why not revisit & reassess ?

By Taxed

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