"TAPPING THE TIDAL POWER POTENTIAL OF
THE EASTERN IRISH SEA"
An ongoing research project is being conducted,
over the period October 2006September 2008, jointly by
the University of Liverpool and Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
for the Joule Centre, under financial support from the North West
To establish a generic regional modelling approach
to study the interaction between the practicable exploitation
of tidal energy and potential hydrological, morphological and
environmental impacts in the Eastern Irish Sea. Its principal
study objectives, each with distinctive deliverable outcomes,
1. To evaluate the realisable tidal energy
potential of the coasts of the North West of England, stretching
from the Dee estuary to the Solway, with regard to the installation
of estuary barrages, tidal fence structures or tidal stream rotor
arrays, or combinations thereof.
2. To establish the potential daily generation
window from optimal conjunctive operation of such devices, taking
account of the different possible modes of operation (ebb, flood
or dual phase generation) in the case of barrages.
3. To evaluate any impact on the overall
tidal dynamics of the Irish Sea as a consequence of this energy
extraction and the associated modifications by time lag in estuary
4. Arising from (3), to assess the implications,
if any, of biophysical coupling in the marine ecosystem, manifesting
water quality or ecological consequences.
5. To ascertain the scale of flood protection
benefit likely to accrue from proactive operation of barrages,
fully accounting for the worsening effects of sea level rise (SLR)
and change in catchment rainfall regimes as a consequence of climate
change, so affecting fluvial flood magnitudes and frequencies.
The study outcomes will place on a firm footing the
potential of the North West to achieve contributions (in terms
of generating capacity, daily generation window and predictability)
towards renewable energy targets by exploitation of its substantial
The Maritime Engineering and Water Systems Research
Group at the University of Liverpool has for many years been involved
in national and international research projects on studying coastal
hydrodynamics and morphodynamics with use of large-scale laboratory
facilities and advanced process-based numerical models.
Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory has world-class
expertise and is internationally known for research on tides,
coastal oceanography and numerical modelling. It hosts the British
Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the Permanent Service for
Mean Sea Level (PSMSL).