Hydrogen, carbon capture given Government boost

The Government has announced £350m of funding to help decarbonise industry, including dedicated funding for green hydrogen.

It will be used to help develop new technologies that will make it easier for companies to switch to more energy-efficient means of production, such as the use of hydrogen networks. Additionally, the investment will help companies use data more effectively and support the creation of green jobs.

Of the £350m, £139m is being designated for supporting a transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power, along with scaling up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. According to the government, CCS could stop over 90 per cent of emissions from industrial plants from being released into the air, instead storing it as carbon underground.

The investment comes after the Committee on Climate Changes 2020 Progress Report argued that for industry, electricity and hydrogen production and CCS should all be considered as pathways for decarbonisation, and a funding mechanism established for the chosen technologies before the end of 2020.

CCS has already received support from the government and industry, with talk of the importance of industrial hubs with CCS raised a number of times. In July 2019, thegovernment announced £170m for deploying both CCS and hydrogennetworks in industrial clusters.

In March, the Chancellor announced aCCS Infrastructure Fund within his Budget, allocating at least £800m to the technology which will be used to develop at least two CCS industrial clusters.

Responding to the PM’s announcement, Energy UK chief executive, Emma Pinchbeck, welcomed the announcement. She pointed to research from the trade association that highlighted the role of both hydrogen and CCS, finding that investment could create jobs and give the UK “a global ‘early mover’ advantage”.

“Hydrogen and CCS are a part of the bigger Green Recovery,” Pinchbeck said. “If Government invests in low carbon energy technologies and businesses, we are confident that it will massively benefit the economy, environment and society.”

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