A tidal power scheme that could see Liverpool City Region achieve zero carbon status by 2040 has inched closer to fruition as work begins on an outline business case. This will be presented to central government and used to inform the scheme’s future development.

Its development will be assisted by a team of technical and financial advisers, headed by Arup, and including ABPmer, Grant Thornton, and BECG.

The outline business case will provide the Combined Authority with an extensive technical, financial, economic, and environmental assessment of the viability of tidal energy, and what form of tidal generation would best suit the project. Following its completion next March, a decision will be made on whether the scheme should be developed further.

Upper estimates list the project’s potential energy generation in the River Mersey and Liverpool Bay at four times as much as all the wind turbines in Liverpool Bay. This equals enough electricity for up to one million homes, 500 football stadiums, or to power an electric train around the world 3,554 times.

Earlier this year, the Scottish government relaunched a £10 million fund to support the commercial deployment of tidal energy projects.

Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Tidal power has the potential to generate a huge amount of renewable energy, helping us to hit our target of being zero carbon by 2040, while boosting economic growth for everyone in our city region, and creating thousands of jobs in its design, construction and beyond.

“Devolution gives us the scale and powers necessary to pursue this kind of transformative project and the opportunity to shape the skills we need for our local economy, which means we can ensure that our children and young people develop in the areas they would need to benefit from these jobs.

“If we are successful in delivering this project, we would become a global leader in tidal technology and export our expertise around the world.

“The next stage in the project is to prepare a detailed and robust technical, financial and environmental assessment of the viability.”

Last June, a £1.2 billion tidal lagoon scheme with plans for six power plants off the coast of Swansea failed to secure government backing after figures indicated wind and nuclear power options would be three times cheaper.

However, in February the project appeared as if it may have been revived as backers claimed construction could go ahead without public financial support.