Tidal barriers bring more benefits than producing clean energy

When designed holistically, tidal barrage schemes can provide additional transport links for commuters, become tourism destinations, mitigate wildlife habitat loss, as well as provide opportunities to boost people's health and wellbeing with additional options for cycling and walking, say researchers.



An ambitious new Mersey barrage concept shows how tidal energy projects can offer many benefits to society in addition to clean renewable energy.

When designed holistically, tidal barrage schemes can provide additional transport links for commuters, become tourism destinations, mitigate wildlife habitat loss, as well as provide opportunities to boost people's health and wellbeing with additional options for cycling and walking, say researchers from Lancaster University and the University of Liverpool.

The academics have proposed an ambitious new design for a mooted tidal energy barrage on the Mersey Estuary, which has one of the largest tidal ranges in the UK. Their concept, which is based on the shape of a whale and includes buildings and platforms for recreation in the centre of the river, illustrates the additional benefits tidal schemes can bring.

The researchers developed their Mersey estuary design to illustrate how developers can apply a novel decision-making framework for tidal schemes called the 'North West Hydro Resource Model'.

This model, which was developed by academics at Lancaster University's Engineering Department, includes a range of factors that should be considered for tidal scheme designs, including: energy generation; land use; habitat; flood risk; transport; fisheries; cultural heritage; water supply; tourism and job creation.

George Aggidis, Professor of Energy Engineering at Lancaster University, lead researcher on the paper and creator of the North West Hydro Resource Model, said: "We need to view tidal energy projects holistically and recognise that they provide opportunities beyond energy generation, including environmental, societal and economic opportunities.


Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190924112041.htm

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