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Opportunities for tidal range projects beyond energy generation: using Mersey barrage as a case study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/09/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Frontiers of Architectural Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date23/09/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Currently there is renewed interest in harnessing the vast tidal resource to combat the twin challenges of climate change and energy security. However, within the UK no tidal barrage proposals have passed the development stage, this is due to a combination of high cost and environmental concerns. This paper demonstrates how a framework, such as the North West Hydro Resource Model can be applied to tidal barrages, with the Mersey barrage as a case study. The model materialised in order to provide developers with a tool to successfully identify the capacity of hydropower schemes in a specific location. A key feature of the resource model is the understanding that there is no single barrier to the utilisation of small hydropower but several obstacles, which together impede development. Thus, this paper contributes in part to a fully holistic treatment of tidal barrages, recognising that apart from energy generation, other environmental, societal and economic opportunities arise and must be fully investigated for robust decision-making. This study demonstrates how considering the societal needs of the people and the necessity for compensatory habitats, for example, an organic architectural design has developed, which aims to enhance rather than detract from the Mersey.