The government has announced a £166 million cash injection to create 60,000 jobs in green technology.
The multi-million-pound investment, awarded to innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry across the UK, will accelerate the delivery of the critical game-changing technologies needed to further drive Britain’s climate change ambitions.
It will develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen, while also helping find solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy and waste.
The aim is to help the UK meet its ambitious climate commitments, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the world’s most ambitious climate target of reducing UK emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy.
“Today’s major cash boost – targeted at our most polluting industries – will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy, one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and create jobs.
“Just six months ago, the Prime Minister set out a clear 10 Point Plan for creating and supporting up to 250,000 British jobs as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic.
“Today we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the United Kingdom.”
Six months ago, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed an ambitious 10 Point Plan committed to removing ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide, generating 5GW of hydrogen by 2030, and creating 250,000 green jobs.
Today’s announcement includes £60m to support the development of low carbon hydrogen in the UK and to identify and scale-up more efficient solutions for making clean hydrogen from water using electricity.
This will take the UK one step closer to using low carbon hydrogen in key industries across the UK – from powering transport such as trains and ships to factories and the heating systems in our homes. It will help create around 8,000 hydrogen jobs set out in the 10 Point Plan.
£37.5m will fund the largest government programme of greenhouse gas removal methods. Of this, 24 projects across England and Wales will receive up to £250,000 to fund innovative designs that develop new ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them safely, and a further five projects will receive up to £4.5m each to investigate the viability of adopting greenhouse gas removal methods at scale.
A total of £20m will support the development of the next generation Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technologies so they can be deployed at scale by 2030.
This could include funding innovative technologies that widen the suitability of CCUS to a larger range of UK industrial uses such as chemicals and cement, reducing the cost of deploying CCUS and helping industrial waste or power sector companies to capture and store harmful emissions from the source, before they are emitted into the atmosphere.
Another £20m will establish a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre that will accelerate the decarbonisation of key energy-intensive industries which currently make a significant contribution to UK emissions.
Run by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, the Centre will bring together new technologies and address the challenges faced by industrial areas, helping to provide solutions that reduce costs, risks and emissions.
This centre will connect and empower the UK industrial decarbonisation community with over 140 partners, including industry and business, government and regulatory agencies and world-leading academics, working together to deliver an impactful innovation hub for industrial decarbonisation.
£16.5m through the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund will develop new technologies and processes that help energy-intensive sectors cut their emissions, while reducing their energy bills.
Projects receiving funding include Tate & Lyle to decarbonise its London sugar refinery and cut emissions by up to 90% and Celsa Manufacturing to install new technologies that improve energy efficiencies in the process to melt scrap metal and produce steel.
BAE Systems will also receive funding to install energy efficient technology that could save equivalent annual emissions of around 700 households.
£8m has been pledged for projects to develop innovations, such as repurposing textile waste, new clay production techniques for the ceramics industry and concrete manufacturing that support the rapid recovery and sustainability of UK industry.
Projects include developing glazes for fast-fire manufacturing of ceramic tiles made entirely from recycled waste, creating a cost-efficient, low carbon concrete manufacturing solution using waste materials and developing the world’s first, high temperature heat pump that can compete commercially with burning fossil fuels.
A total of £4.7m will establish a new Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub. The hub will be led by Cranfield University and will help industries like metals, glass, cement, paper and glass to work together and address their common challenges while accelerating the development and adoption of new technologies and business models.
This could include creating new, smart materials and processes that enable cheaper, lower energy and low carbon products.
Challenge Director for UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI) Industrial Decarbonisation challenge Dr Bryony Livesey said: “The introduction of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre concept shows the commitment to not only fund largescale decarbonisation efforts, but to make sure we continually learn from and adapt to their early results and challenges.
“By enabling the Centre to build evidence on a range of areas from direct costs and emissions to skilled jobs and wider net zero policy, we believe we are creating a more adaptive and responsible path for the UK’s big industry to take to remain at the forefront of a global low carbon culture.”
£86m of the total funding package announced comes from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and systems, helping the UK end its contribution to climate change.