River Mersey tidal power plan granted £2.5m funding

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River MerseyImage source, NPAS
Image caption,
Studies suggest a barrage across the River Mersey could generate up to for times the energy of windfarms

A plan to harness tidal power in the River Mersey in Liverpool has taken a step forward after £2.5m of funding for the project was approved.

The scheme, which would see a barrage built across the river, could power up to one million homes, politicians say.

The money has been rubber-stamped by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority following a year-long feasibility study.

Mayor Steve Rotheram said it would harness the city's "unique geography".

He added: "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."

A previous River Mersey barrage scheme was abandoned in 2011 after a study by Peel Energy and the North West Development Agency.

Regional mayor Mr Rotheram revived the plans in 2017 as part of his election campaign.

The latest study, commissioned by the combined authority, found the demand for electricity will double by 2050 - mainly due to the increase in electric vehicles.

It also predicated new turbine technology could generate more power than previously thought.

The barrage could generate up to four times the energy of all the wind turbines in Liverpool Bay, the authority said.

A precise location for the barrage will be decided after the next phase of work, which is due to take two years to complete.

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