A series of barrages positioned across estuaries in the Irish Sea could help reduce the impact of high prices from energy suppliers.
The motion of the tide in areas such as Morecambe Bay, the Solway Firth and the Mersey and Dee Rivers could be used to satisfy 50 per cent of the energy demand in the north-west of England.
Research from the University of Liverpool and Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory shows barrage turbines could be operational for nearly 12 hours every day.
Professor Richard Burrows, based at the University's Maritime Environmental and Water Systems Research Group, said: "With concerns mounting over the UK's future energy provision it will soon become paramount that all sources of renewable energy are fully developed."
He added the tides were predictable, giving them an advantage over wind turbines, while the barrages could be used to cater for five per cent of the UK's total energy demand.
Several wind farm projects currently face an uncertain future as the recession is prompting energy companies to reconsider their renewable spending plans.
If you want to find out more about gas and electricity and how you could save up to £378 in minutes, click here.