The government has announced £31m funding to help industry reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, cut carbon emissions and boost energy efficiency, while also supporting the development of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Among several funding programs unveiled yesterday, over £5.5m is being invested in developing technologies to help shift away from carbon intensive fuels towards cleaner power sources such as hydrogen, electrification or fuel from biomass and waste products, the government said.
That funding tranche, awarded through the first phase of the Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, aims to support winning projects to replace fossil gas with hydrogen in industrial processes, and to design heat pumps for use in manufacturing sites, among other innovations.
In addition, the winners of the first stage of the Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) Innovation competition have been unveiled, with £12m shared among a raft of projects to deploy the next-generation CCUS at scale by 2030.
Among those to secure funding include UK start-up C-Capture, which has won £1.7m to help demonstrate its chemical-based, low-cost CO2 removal process at cement, glass and bioenergy facilities.
“Our solution has the potential to be a game changer for carbon capture,” said C-Capture CEO Tom White. “It uses less energy than currently available technology meaning it can significantly reduce the cost of carbon capture to a point that makes it affordable globally. It is also environmentally benign, well suited to the large-scale capture of CO2 and robust enough to withstand even the most aggressive flue gases. These advantages mean it has potential to break the barriers that are preventing the widespread adoption of carbon capture and storage technology, to mitigate the impacts of climate change.”
The second round of the competition has also been launched this week, offering up to £7.3m for the to help develop technologies that involve capturing and storing carbon from industrial processes such as power generation, cement manufacturing, and chemicals production and refining.
Meanwhile, another innovation funding tranche announced yesterday has seen £6.6m earmarked by the government for helping industry secure greener alternatives to polluting red diesel fuel, which is commonly used for off-road vehicles and machinery in the quarrying, mining and construction sectors, the government said.
Potential red diesel alternatives include e-fuels such as green hydrogen, as well as technologies that capture and store energy that would otherwise be wasted from a vehicles or machine, so that instead it can be used once again, it explained.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said the £31m total funding announced today would play a crucial role in furthering the development of low carbon industry in the UK.
“As we accelerate the UK’s energy independence by boosting clean, home-grown, affordable energy, it’s crucial that our industries reduce their reliance on fossil fuels,” he said. “This investment will help them to not only cut emissions, but also save money on energy bills, on top of supporting jobs by encouraging green innovation across the UK.”