Labour is to further underscore its commitment to the renewables sector with plans to support the proposed £1.5bn tidal barrage in the Mersey River. The Financial Times reported today that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has given his backing to the plan, which is being championed by Labour’s mayor of Liverpool city region, Steve Rotheram. Ministers are understood to be wary of the relatively high costs associated with the first wave of proposed tidal energy projects – concerns that were amplified last autumn when offshore wind developers bid to develop new projects at a cost of less than £60/MWh. In contrast, a feasibility study on the proposed Mersey Tidal project carried out by the NorthWest Development Agency in 2011 concluded the project could deliver clean power at a cost of about £120/MWh, with a £1.5bn upfront investment. However, Rotheram predicted projected costs are likely to have come down substantially in the intervening years and he has commissioned a new feasibility study which is due to report in the coming months. Meanwhile, advocates of tidal power maintain it delivers significant advantages over other forms of renewables given its highly predictable nature.
Business Green 7th March 2018 read more »