24 Jun 2011 10:06:03
Future of Mersey tidal power scheme in doubt
Proposals to build a tidal power barrage across the Mersey Estuary are unlikely to progress because of high construction costs.
Developer Peel Energy said the project would be able to create enough energy to power 200,000 homes, with the preferred scheme being capable of generating power from ebb tides, as well as combined ebb and flood tides.
However, the upfront construction cost of £3.5 billion means the resulting cost of the electricity would not be competitive with the rest of the market.
Anthony Hatton, Peel Energy's development director, said although the initial investment would lead to competitively priced electricity throughout the project's 120-year life, current financial structures mean it would not attract the upfront finance needed.
"We need to identify an appropriate funding structure that recognises the long term low cost of electricity, security of supply and wider economic benefits that investments such as this provide for future generations," he added.
The original aim of the project was to begin delivering power from the project by 2020 and Peel Energy had hoped to generate enough energy to power 260,000 homes, which would have met much of the demand in Liverpool and Merseyside.