Industrial decarbonisation strategy reveals details of project spending across the country
The government has unveiled details of a £1bn plan to drastically cut emissions from industry and the built environment over the next 15 years.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has revealed the new industrial decarbonisation strategy, which aims to cut carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2035 and by 90% by 2050, compared with 2018 levels.
The previously-announced £1bn fund follows on from the government’s 10-point plan for achieving net zero.
As part of the strategy the government has revealed details of how £171m has been allocated to nine green tech projects.
These will be based in Scotland, South Wales and the North-west, Humber and Teesside in England, and will include studies to design low-carbon infrastructure such as carbon capture and the use of hydrogen.
The blueprint, which the government says will create or support 80,000 jobs over 30 years, also includes measures to move towards greener energy sources. It expects 20 terawatt hours of industry’s energy supply switching from fossil fuel sources to low-carbon alternatives by 2030.
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The government will also introduce new rules on measuring the energy and carbon performance of the UK’s largest commercial and industrial buildings, including office blocks and factories, in England and Wales.
Other key commitments include plans to use carbon pricing to persuade firms to invest in greener solutions as well as plans to discuss setting targets for the steelmaking industry.
Kwarteng said: “Today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low carbon industrial sector.
“While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment - without pushing emissions and business abroad.”
The CBI welcomed the move saying it was a vital step in cutting almost all UK carbon emissions by 2050, although opposition parties and environmental groups have said the measures do not go far enough and have criticised the lack of new investment.
To reduce carbon emissions from public buildings including hospitals, schools and council buildings, £932m has been directed to 429 projects across England via the public sector decarbonisation scheme.
These include Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which will be handed £78m to decarbonise 15 bodies under its control.
Leicester City Council will receive £24m to upgrade 93 buildings including 56 schools, while Hertfordshire County Council will be handed the same amount to upgrade 182 council buildings, including 74 schools and 23 emergency service buildings.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be given almost £13m to install solar panels, heat pumps and new roof insulation.
The strategy will use the Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, also known as Project Speed, to ensure the land planning regime is fit for building low-carbon infrastructure, while it also plans to work with Steel Council to consider recommendations for setting targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035.
Projects - £171m industrial decarbonisation fund
Hydrogen energy and carbon capture, usage and storage project HyNet North West will receive almost £33m funding for two projects that aim to transform the north-west of England into a low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 – including Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales. Two projects will look to decarbonise industry by directly capturing and storing emissions, creating a hydrogen economy across the North West, this includes repurposing old oil and gas facilities for carbon transport and storage.
The projects will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million tonnes per year from 2025, rising to up to 10 million tonnes per year from 2030 and beyond, the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road. HyNet North West will provide green energy for local homes and businesses – a blend of hydrogen and natural gas.
As a result of government funding, HyNet North West aims to create thousands of new jobs in the north-west by 2025, while protecting and retaining skilled jobs, attracting new talent and providing learning, training and upskilling opportunities.
Scotland (St Fergus, Aberdeenshire)
Over £31m for Scotland’s net zero infrastructure project will fund important offshore and onshore engineering studies connecting industrial sites across East Scotland with access to world-class, safe carbon storage resources in rock deep below the North Sea.
This programme of new work and reusing infrastructure will provide a significant boost to the region’s fast-growing low carbon credentials, paving the way for onshore and offshore developments totalling in excess of £3bn, helping Scotland transition away from oil and gas, creating and securing tens of thousands of jobs by 2050.
Net Zero Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership will receive over £52m for two projects that aim to decarbonise the Teesside industrial cluster in the mid-2020s. The projects aim to use the funding for a world-first flexible gas power plant that uses carbon capture, usage and storage and that complements renewable energy, and to create an offshore CO2 transport and storage system.
Together the projects could capture around 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually from 2026, decarbonise 750MW of power and reduce the region’s industrial emissions by a third. As a result of the government funding, the projects could create £450m in economic benefits and create up to 5,500 direct jobs.
Over £21m for the Zero Carbon Humber Partnership project which aims to turn the Humber region into a net zero cluster by 2040. This project’s vision is to deliver H2H Saltend, one of the world’s first at-scale low carbon hydrogen production plants on the north bank of the Humber, and CO2 and hydrogen pipelines enabling industrial sites and power stations across the Humber to switch to hydrogen and/or capture and transport their emissions.
A further over £12m will be awarded to project Humber Zero which plans to decarbonise the industrial complex at Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, by creating a carbon capture and hydrogen hub, providing cost-effective and low carbon energy supply and storage opportunities to industry and the National Grid.
With the Humber region creating 40% of the UK’s industrial emissions, these projects aim to capture 25 million tonnes of carbon every year. It will create a low-carbon hydrogen energy supply chain to power the region’s homes and businesses, while safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs.
Nearly £20m will go to the South Wales Industrial Cluster which aims to create a net zero industrial zone from Pembrokeshire to the Welsh/English border by 2040, which will open up opportunities for South Wales to become a leader in decarbonised industrial and economic growth. The project will look at options to support the deployment of hydrogen across regions and to develop carbon capture, usage and storage.
South Wales industry produces nearly 9 million tonnes of carbon each year – 12% of UK’s industry’s total. The project will create a sustainable plan for the region, through the production and distribution of hydrogen, cleaner electricity production using carbon capture and/or hydrogen-rich natural gas and large industry decarbonisation through fuel switching and the production of cleaner transportation fuels.