Policy change puts barrage ‘in contention’

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A REVISED Government energy policy could provide a vital boost for the Wyre tidal barrage scheme later this year.

Members of Wyre tidal Energy are eagerly anticipating change to the system of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) which could spell the go-ahead to the barrage being built.

And MP Eric Ollerenshaw has told the House of Commons such a change could be the catalyst for the Fleetwood/Over Wyre scheme, pictured in the artist impression (right).

He said: “I hope it will have the potential to produce a level playing field for other renewables.

“I have mentioned before in my area there is a proposal for a barrage on the River Wyre. This scheme has been lying around since 1991.

“Just a slight tweaking of the ROC regime could put that in contention, and it would produce real renewable energy.”

Tim Amor of the Wyre Tidal Energy Group said: “It’s a question of how much David Cameron and his colleagues really want this to happen.

“They could make it happen tomorrow by making sure they change the system.

“It would be an enormous benefit to the North West.

“There is nowhere else in Britain with the tidal ranges within striking distance of conurbations.

“A barrage could provide electricity for the Fylde. We are talking about a lot of electricity.”

ROCs are given to energy producers such as wind-farm owners for the electricity they produce.

They then sell them to energy companies who want to meet their renewables obligations.

More ROCs for barrage schemes could instantly make tidal power more viable.

In the Commons debate on renewables Mr Ollerenshaw attacked the concentration on wind turbines.

He said there had been a 20 per cent fall in the amount of electricity produced by some turbines last year. To meet the Government’s targets would need enough turbines to cover 90 per cent of Lancashire.

There are three potential sites for the barrage, all of which would have locks for pleasure craft to pass through.

Construction would take around three years and, if the finance can be found, the group envisage the barrage working in 2017.