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News and Video
(apologies if this has been posted before)

Proposals for a giant water wheel stretching across the River Mersey are due to be revealed.

The river is one of the best sites for renewable energy created by tides, in the UK, a new study claims.

The report claims the Mersey's unusual shape and wide range of tides can be used to produce environmentally- friendly power.

If the plans get the go-ahead, the wheel turbine could produce enough electricity for half a million homes.

The study was sponsored by Peel Holdings, who operate the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, and the North West Development Agency.
 

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It was mentioned in the Peel thread, but still its worth having one just for this. :)
 

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Who benefits? What is in it for Liverpool? There needs to be some gain over and above generating electricity. The whole principle of harnessing electricity from the power of the river should be tied to the principle of some practical gain to the city economy, such as a footbridge or road-bridge across the river. Otherwise, it might as well be anywhere.
 

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Who benefits? What is in it for Liverpool? There needs to be some gain over and above generating electricity. The whole principle of harnessing electricity from the power of the river should be tied to the principle of some practical gain to the city economy, such as a footbridge or road-bridge across the river. Otherwise, it might as well be anywhere.
Well if it isn't in Liverpool we gain absolutely nothing, whereas if it is built here, we can gain from construction, maintenance, scientific research at the Universities, visitor attraction.

Come on Poli you can come across as a bit negative, i suppose you are going to tell us that we wont benefit and it will all be run from a North west regional base in Manchester or summat.
 

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Who benefits? What is in it for Liverpool? There needs to be some gain over and above generating electricity. The whole principle of harnessing electricity from the power of the river should be tied to the principle of some practical gain to the city economy, such as a footbridge or road-bridge across the river. Otherwise, it might as well be anywhere.
I thought exactly the same thing. I recall that there was talk a while ago of a "barrage", using some sort of advanced, hi tech net that would collect the river's energy. I remember there being talk of a bridge being incorporated as part of the scheme.

Unless there is some tangible gain for Liverpool then I'm not really arsed either way. I suppose my green side would be glad the UK national grid is harnessing more renewable energy. But it would be nice if Liverpool got something out of it, instead of simply producing energy that goes on to the 'national' grid, and doen't benefit the place specifically.

EDIT: just read Juxta's post and agreed there will be other benefits. But I still think a bridge would be nice. After all, this thing, for all we know, could be very ugly or cause a negative impact on shipping trade. So it needs to bring more than just short term construction jobs, and maintenance work for one or two contractors in Manchester.
 

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Well if it isn't in Liverpool we gain absolutely nothing, whereas if it is built here, we can gain from construction, maintenance, scientific research at the Universities, visitor attraction.

Come on Poli you can come across as a bit negative, i suppose you are going to tell us that we wont benefit and it will all be run from a North west regional base in Manchester or summat.
eh? It is you who are being negative. I'm asking what is in it for the city, that is all.
 

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eh? It is you who are being negative. I'm asking what is in it for the city, that is all.
Read my previous post to see whats in it for Liverpool.

You are not stupid, you must have some idea of the positives yourself, come on...a big green electricity generating scheme (you are a green person going on about not flying), which will cost millions in investment, and you see no positives, or what Liverpool can gain....i don't believe you.

Also, why does Liverpool have to keep all the benefits to itself, it a collective process whereby Scotland and Wales have large electricity generating schemes going into the national grid they benefit from the project, we all benefit from the electricity which is green.

The scheme as i understand wont fully cross the river blocking off shipping traffic, otherwise it would be a non starter.
 

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Juxta, it's called "planning gain"...you get something additional for the community.

The only way we can ever get another crossing at that part of the river will be if it is subsidised, and this is a way to subsidise it. We need a foot-/cycle bridge at the very least, which will never be cost-effective but which will have a huge impact on the economy.

If you dont ask for stuff, you dont get it. This scheme as it stands is good for the economy of the country, good for the environment, but there's **** all in it for Liverpool of any real value. The river and its potential should not be given away. Benefits must accrue to the local economy. Real benefits, not trifling things.

When you have an asset, you make people pay for it, not take it away. There is a lack of joined-up thinking here, a lack of strategy.

All that is required is a decision to say "some kind of electricity generation scheme in the river is acceptable only if it contributes to the physical and financial underpinnings of a river crossing without limiting shipping movements"....you will find the engineers will find a solution to that challenge. If they are not set such a challenge, they will not even look for such a solution. The city has to ask.
 

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How do you know that these things are not being discussed, a cycle/pedestrian bridge idea has already been mentioned and could be made easier with the addittion of a barrage.

The thing hasn't event been built and you are saying already it's a failed project with no joined up thinking, taking things away from us, and we Liverpool will have to pay for it all and give the electricity away for the benefit of the rest of the country.....!
 

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How do you know that these things are not being discussed, a cycle/pedestrian bridge idea has already been mentioned and could be made easier with the addittion of a barrage.

The thing hasn't event been built and you are saying already it's a failed project with no joined up thinking, taking things away from us, and we Liverpool will have to pay for it all and give the electricity away for the benefit of the rest of the country.....!

Juxta, as you know there is a long tradition of barrage scheme studies and stories. This one, and that is all we can go on, does not make any mention of providing a river crossing. I am simply pointing out that electricity generation alone is not enough, and that the city should require additional gains if it is to agree to this. Even little villages that agree to windfarms or whatever get something out of it - in Liverpool's case this should be considerable and serve strategic purposes.

I have not said it's a "failed project", I've just commented on the very short story on the BBC website, which does not offer any additional benefits over and above electricity generation. Unless benefits are design / costed in, they will never happen, that is just life I'm afraid. So you get what you agree to, and I am saying the city should not agree (if indeed it has a say in this) to a scheme that purely generates electricity and provides no other significant benefits to the regional infrastructure and economy.

Liverpool needs improved flood defences. That is another issue that a potential tidal barrage could help with. This needs to be joined-up. Peel are good at doing things one at a time, but they are not joined up. That is what the public sector is there for - to join things up.
 

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I'm sure that if little villages get benefits then so will Liverpool. The BBC is probably just reporting on the initial scheme about green power generation, they aren't going to go into detail about wether Liverpool will gain added benefits, whatever they may be as nobody knows yet.
 

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I'm sure that if little villages get benefits then so will Liverpool. The BBC is probably just reporting on the initial scheme about green power generation, they aren't going to go into detail about wether Liverpool will gain added benefits, whatever they may be as nobody knows yet.

Well given that this is sponsored by Peel and NWDA, I will be very pleasantly surprised if this scheme articulates into or supports wider strategic benefits to the infrastructure of the region. I suspect this is very much about electricity and money.

In the old days, Merseyside County Council would have had a say on schemes of such significance, and would have tied it into wider considerations of the economy, transport, infrastructure etc. There is no single body with a responsibility for doing that for Greater Liverpool, and river schemes in particular are therefore vulnerable to neglecting the wider benefits. Peel want money and profit for themselves, their interests are not the same as those of Greater Liverpool.

If the scheme offers real infrastructural benefits then great - but its strange they should keep those quiet when publicising it to date.
 

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Who benefits? What is in it for Liverpool? There needs to be some gain over and above generating electricity. The whole principle of harnessing electricity from the power of the river should be tied to the principle of some practical gain to the city economy, such as a footbridge or road-bridge across the river. Otherwise, it might as well be anywhere.
That's an appallingly self-centred and parochial view. The Mersey has (apparently) the second best conditions for tidal generation in the UK; this is a good, clean way of generating electricity which will be a gain to the nation as a whole. Clean, cheap electricity is a benefit to the entire country, which, last time I looked, included Liverpool. What were the benefits to those Welsh valley communities who were flooded to provide drinking water for the North West? None whatsoever, but you have to consider the bigger picture.
 

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That's an appallingly self-centred and parochial view. The Mersey has (apparently) the second best conditions for tidal generation in the UK; this is a good, clean way of generating electricity which will be a gain to the nation as a whole. Clean, cheap electricity is a benefit to the entire country, which, last time I looked, included Liverpool. What were the benefits to those Welsh valley communities who were flooded to provide drinking water for the North West? None whatsoever, but you have to consider the bigger picture.
Wales itself has destroyed and abandoned villages when they stood in the way of progress or residential preferences, and some of its own towns and cities themselves benefit from water that in some cases is stored where villages once were. The thirsty mouths of an expanded Liverpool were, in large numbers, migrants from Wales anyway.

I am all for exploiting renewable sources of energy, but it is important that such schemes are integrated into wider strategies aimed at regeneration and sustainable growth. A footbridge / cycle lane would be great for the environment and economy of Greater Liverpool. The Pier Head has seriously flooded within my lifetime and that is likely to become a more serious and frequent problem in the future. We need integrated solutions that tackle these issues, rather than looking at particular issues one-by-one, which is a danger when commercial organisations team up with public agencies that don't have a "joined-up" remit.

We should not consider environmental, energy, transport, economic or other schemes and strategies in isolation.

In the longer-term, energy rich regions should get some of that tax money directly, rather than having it snaffled by the Treasury - Liverpool Bay has gas, wind and tidal power and the receipts of that should help pay for new and additional public transport schemes such as the rail system, trams, cycle lanes etc. for the city region.

Why do I need to say this? Isn't it obvious?
 

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They were flooded by Liverpool, for Liverpool, back when cities had real powers. The villagers were compensated and North Wales has several enviable artificial attractions paid for by Liverpool taxpayers and government loans.

**** the northwest. Why should people here see any benefits gained from their local area be siphoned off for the 'greater good'? The car park on Princes Dock is a prime example. If you want a space there, you need to call some **** in Manchester. It's emblazoned right across the Strand elevation.
 

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jetsetwilly said:
That's an appallingly self-centred and parochial view. The Mersey has (apparently) the second best conditions for tidal generation in the UK; this is a good, clean way of generating electricity which will be a gain to the nation as a whole. Clean, cheap electricity is a benefit to the entire country, which, last time I looked, included Liverpool. What were the benefits to those Welsh valley communities who were flooded to provide drinking water for the North West? None whatsoever, but you have to consider the bigger picture.
Wales itself has destroyed and abandoned villages when they stood in the way of progress or residential preferences, ...
I am all for exploiting renewable sources of energy, but it is important that such schemes are integrated into wider strategies aimed at... The Pier Head has seriously flooded within my lifetime and that is likely to become a more serious and frequent problem in the future. ...
A recent report on Barrage versus Lagoon or the Severn estuary has some interesting comments on tidal power for Liverpool Bay. This (unreasonably?) biased report heavily favours lagoons over barrages. Apparently a lagoon system outside the Severn estuary would need about 200 million tonnes of aggregate (rock) in its construction. One estimate for Liverpool Bay is 23.6 million tonnes (I'm sure bigger Liverpool Bay schemes are both possible and desirable). See http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/severn_barrage_lagoons.pdf
... There is scope to use inert waste materials called secondary aggregates as infill between the larger rocks. Tidal Electric Ltd has indicated that slate waste, of which there is well over 200 million tonnes in north Wales, would be suitable. However, there would be capacity constraints associated with transporting the slate along rail links and conveyor belts where such facilities exist or could be built. Output by rail from the Blaenau Ffestiniog area would probably be limited to about 2 million tonnes per year and any lagoon construction in Liverpool Bay might draw all available capacity ...
A revealing comparison can be made between the large tonnage of aggregates required for lagoons and the tonnage of coal required for the same electrical output.
The most detailed figures produced by Tidal Electric for a large lagoon scheme are those for a possible 430 MW scheme in Liverpool Bay. This scheme would generate an average of 260 MW producing about 2.2 TW hours per year and would require 23.6 million tonnes of aggregate for construction. ...
This very much begs the question as to why we could haul only a piffling 2 million tonnes per year of slate waste out of Blaenau Ffestiniog? Especially since it is such a desirable thing to do for Wales. If its only a matter of upgrading the railway line to take more trains per day then that probably involves nothing more than moving the signalling gear from the linesides into radios/computers in the train cabs. There would probably be a need to build more sidings etc at Blaenau and run quarry trains at night too. There has to be a way to upgrade capacity so it doesn't take (literally) over 100 years to haul the waste slate out.

As I've previously discussed an easy start could be made on building the Liverpool Bay lagoons by building a one mile railway viaduct for hauling rocks from Red Noses to the Revetment and going from there. Building a sea wall with its own construction railway on top mile after mile.
 

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A barrage on the River Severn would prevent flooding in Shrewsbury, Tewksbury, etc. When at low tide the barrier is closed. The tide rises on the sea side leaving a large buffer space for upsteam water to empty into. When the tide drops the gates are open to take away the water in the buffer space.
 

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I'm sure a barrage would generate a huge amount of electricity but it would be extremely expensive to construct and would no doubt create a large number of hydrological problems in the Mersey Estuary and Liverpool Bay. Also, a barrage does not make use of one of the principal features of the Mersey Estuary, the high currents caused by the constriction of the narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead.

A much cheaper solution would be the use of flow generators, which are much like underwater windmills that can be constructed on dry land and sunk into position. They can even be moved to other locations if need be. I think a technology like that needs to be exploited before we start thinking about barrages.
 

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I'm sure a barrage would generate a huge amount of electricity but it would be extremely expensive to construct and would no doubt create a large number of hydrological problems in the Mersey Estuary and Liverpool Bay. Also, a barrage does not make use of one of the principal features of the Mersey Estuary, the high currents caused by the constriction of the narrows between Liverpool and Birkenhead.
High use of strong currents would be redundant. The deep channels they formed over centuries would still be there not being filled up with sand any more. Any problems would be in the bay side of the barrage.

If the tide is allowed to enter the river, locked off and then the locked water is used to flow into the bay river producing electricity, the level in the river would not drop much as there is just too much water locked in. This means the flow would always be strong and predictable - tide times are known.

A much cheaper solution would be the use of flow generators, which are much like underwater windmills that can be constructed on dry land and sunk into position. They can even be moved to other locations if need be. I think a technology like that needs to be exploited before we start thinking about barrages.
Underwater turbines are hazzards. The advantages of a barrage are immense.

  • [*]A road bridge
    [*]A rail bridge
    [*]An enviro power station
    [*]Ship berthing all along the river walls of the docks
    [*]Ships able to berth near the city centre.
    [*]An enclosed current free body of water
    [*]A large body of water for leisure purposes.
    [*]A platform for leisure facilities as restaurants
    [*]A platform for a high viewing tower
    [*]Berthing for large Post-Panamax ships inside and outside the barrage
    [*]The ability to build islands in the river for tall buildings, as currents not affected to keep ship channels clear.
    [*]Sand and mud inside the barrage could be removed giving a deep estuary all over, enabling vessels unhindered movement around the estuary.
We gain so much. The barrage is a must have project and should be pursued ASAP.
 
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