Companies working to build UK hydrogen and carbon capture markets have landed initial government funding. Now they will compete for a bigger prize.
UK Research and Innovation has announced first-stage winners among firms competing for £131 million to speed British industry’s conversion to low carbon energy.
As part of Whitehall’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, UKRI set aside £2 million as stage-one cash for firms to prove their technology’s commercial credibility in cutting emissions from heat, manufacturing and transport.
To be eligible, entrants developing clean hydrogen or carbon capture and storage (CCS) had to prove their relevance to the government’s six Industrial decarbonisation clusters. Claimed as a world first, the six clusters are tasked with eliminating all industrial carbon emissions by 2040.
First-stage winners include firms or partnerships capable of deploying novel technology at scale. They include hydrogen company ITM Power, which is building what is believed to be the world’s biggest electrolyser factory in Sheffield.
Winners will now compete at second stage for a £131 million funding pot, awarded on the achievable reductions in their target cluster by 2030.
Also rewarded by UKRI are consortia aiming to deliver and extend “roadmap” goals to decarbonise one of the geographical clusters. Co-operations with local authorities, or with universities in applied research, stand to benefit.