The need and opportunity
In the face of current and anticipated issues of security of supply and climate change, the need to find local sources of renewable energy has never been more urgent.
The Mersey Estuary has one of the largest tidal ranges in the UK, making it 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, as well as beyond. Any scheme put forward will need to take into account the ecological diversity of the Estuary, which supports internationally important bird habitats.
Contributing to a diverse energy mix
The UK needs a diverse energy mix of energy sources to meet future demand in a secure and affordable mannerand reduce carbon emissions. While energy efficiency measures will help to reduce consumption, the transition from fossil fuels to lower carbon sources will increase demand for electricity, particularly for heat, transport and industrial uses. Potential scenarios of supply and demand have been mapped out by the government in the 2050 Pathway Analysis. This analysis highlights the potential role of the Mersey in meeting the UK's energy needs while helping to achieve 2050 carbon reduction targets.
To deliver the maximum amount of affordable energy (and make the maximum contribution to carbon reduction targets) from the tidal resorce in the Mersey Estuary, with acceptable impacts on the environment, shipping, business and the community; either by limiting direct impact in the Mersey Estuary or by providing acceptable mitigation and/or compensation;
And in doing so,
To maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits of the development and operation of a renewable energy scheme, including, where appropriate:
The project will endeavour to uphold the principles of sustainable development at all times.