Liverpool eyes South Korean know-how on tidal range power projects
Liverpool City Region has signed an agreement with Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) to cooperate and share lessons that could help the region develop the world’s largest tidal power scheme on the River Mersey.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region’ mayor has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the vice president of South Korea’s state water company Jeong kyeongyun, paving the way for closer cooperation between the parties on tidal energy developments.
K-water owns and operates the Sihwa Lake tidal range power scheme, currently the world’s largest, while Liverpool City Region plans to develop the Mersey Tidal Power Project, which has the potential to generate enough clean energy to power up to one million homes and create thousands of jobs in its construction and operation.
Over the last two years, the authority has undertaken early technical work to develop the potential scope of the scheme, which could be up and running within a decade, playing a huge role in the region’s push to net zero carbon by 2040 – at least a decade ahead of national targets.
Commenting on the agreement, Steve Rotheram said: “The River Mersey has been the lifeblood of our region’s fortunes for centuries and is central to my ambitions to build a cleaner, greener and prosperous future for our area.
“For as long as I can remember, there has been talk of building a tidal barrage on the Mersey. Thanks to devolution – we’re working to make it a reality. There are still huge technical and financial challenges to overcome but Mersey Tidal Power has the potential to provide enough clean, green, predictable energy to power up to one million homes for over a century.
“We want to take inspiration from trailblazers around the world, who are already leading the way in tidal energy, and our agreement with K-water is a massive step on our journey to bringing this project to life. I am very hopeful that this partnership will flourish and, hopefully, help to position the Liverpool City Region as Britain’s renewable energy coast.”
K-water built and operates the Sihwa Lake tidal range power plant, which has been operational since 2011 and generates 552GWh of clean, green energy annually, replacing the equivalent of 862,000 barrels of oil a year.
K-water’s Jeong kyeongyun said: “I know that this MoA between you and us is the move for R&D cooperation to ensure the successful development of Mersey Tidal Power Project and to implement the water-energy-city nexus, and I believe that this move will help expand exchanges between the two countries to proactively respond to the global climate crisis and to sustainably realize carbon neutrality.”
The move is the latest stage of engagement between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and K-water, which began with meetings at COP26 in Glasgow, in November last year, and continued with a visit by Mersey Tidal’s director to Sihwa Lake and Daejon in South Korea in May 2022.
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