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Government pumps £166.5m into green technology

The government funding will be awarded to innovators, businesses and academics across the UK to develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen

The government has announced £166.5m in funding for green technology projects across the UK.

The money will be awarded to a range of different projects aiming to drive the delivery of technologies needed to meet the country’s climate change goals, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The funding will allow innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry to develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen, and the government expects it to create more than 60,000 jobs across the UK. Some £86m of the funding will come from the government’s £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

Energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the government is determined to tackle climate change.

“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 creates jobs,” she said.

In November 2020, prime minister Boris Johnson set out a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, aiming to remove 10 megatonnes of carbon dioxide and generate 5GW of hydrogen by 2030.

“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,” Trevelyan said.

“Toda,y we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the UK.”

Some £60m of the funding will go towards supporting the development of low carbon hydrogen, aiming to identify and scale up more efficient solutions for using electricity to make clean hydrogen from water, while £20m will be used to develop the next generation of carbon capture, usage and storage technologies to deploy them by scale by 2030.

Another £20m will be used to establish a virtual Industrial Decrabonisation Research and Innovation Centre. The centre aims to bring together industry, business, government, regulatory agencies and academics to deliver an innovation hub for industrial decarbonisation.

Challenge director for UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Industrial Decarbonisation challenge, Bryony Livesey said the new centre concept “shows the commitment to not only fund large-scale 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.”

Specific projects receiving funding include the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, which will get almost £4.5m on a project led by professor Christopher Evans to manage and restore peatlands to maximise greenhouse gas removal; and Celsa Manufacturing in Cardiff, Wales, which will get £3m to install technologies to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiencies in melting scrap metal and producing steel.

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