Creating tidal gateways on England’s North West coast became a personal dream for the late Alan Torevell. But it is at last reaching the point where that dream could become a reality if the Government is prepared to back the plan in 2020.
In 2014, our group North West Energy Squared was established to consider if there were any consistent reasons for the relatively high unemployment, and relatively low wages and productivity in North West coastal areas.
Attached to these situations were high levels of social need, manifesting itself with too many families where no adult was in work, where the families were living in poor quality housing, and where school attendance was low.
A model of the whole north-western coast, from North Wales to South West Scotland, was created to showcase our initial concept. That concept was to put gateways across all of the major estuaries on the coast, with roads on top of them and tidal range turbines built into the construction. This would both improve connectivity between coastal towns and generate emission-free electricity.
The model was exhibited for several weeks at a time in Liverpool, Manchester, Whitehaven, Barrow-in-Furness and Morecambe. We asked for comments on the concept and the opportunities that would arise from it. We received hundreds of responses – the vast majority of them extremely positive.
The model, and the concept, attracted the attention of Professor George Aggidis, Director of the Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group & Fluid Machinery Group, and Dr David Howard of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), also attached to Lancaster University. Our discussions led to a move from the concept phase to a specific project, under the auspices of Northern Tidal Power Gateways Ltd (NTPG), organised as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NWE2.
We have already spent almost £1 million in time and private funding bringing the project to this stage. Now we want to take it to the next level, with your help to secure the Government endorsement we need.