What is the Industrial Decarbonisation challenge?
This challenge aims to accelerate the cost-effective decarbonisation of industry by developing and deploying low-carbon technologies. It also aims to enable the deployment of infrastructure at scale by the mid-2020s.
It aims to boost the competitiveness of key industrial regions and drive inward investment, creating and protecting jobs for a low-carbon global economy with growing low-carbon export markets
It will support delivery of the Clean Growth Grand Challenge and the Industrial Clusters Mission, which has set an ambition to establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and 4 low-carbon clusters by 2030. The Mission, and this challenge, will help to place the UK at the forefront of the global shift to Clean Growth, by driving the technologies, services and markets to produce low carbon industrial products.
What’s the investment?
The Industrial Decarbonisation programme is funded by £170 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund which is expected to be matched by funding of up to £261 million from industry.
What are the opportunities?
Clusters of large industrial plants for energy-intensive industries such as iron and steel, cement, refining and chemicals, have developed near our ports and estuaries. These industrial clusters are very significant contributors to both the local economy and their communities, but also are significant contributors to UK carbon emissions.
The largest six clusters mapped by the Industrial Clusters Mission, have high emission plants totaling around 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year – equating to about one third of all business and industrial emissions. Manufacturing businesses in industrial clusters often share infrastructure and resources (both supply chains and workforce).
Industrial Decarbonisation seeks to harness the scale of the industrial clusters to create opportunities to work together to find cost-effective solutions to decarbonisation.
This challenge is the first active funding stream as part of a wider government commitment to cut industrial emissions. It will develop at least one low-carbon industrial cluster by 2030, and the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 in support of the Industrial Clusters Mission.
The challenge comprises three complimentary activities:
- cluster plans
- deployment projects
- The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).
Cluster plan projects:
In January 2021, six projects (phase 2) across the UK were awarded £8 million in government funding to bring together industry and local authorities to develop plans to reduce carbon emissions:
- South Wales Industry – A Plan for Clean Growth
- Repowering the Black Country Phase 2 Cluster Plan
- Net Zero Tees Valley: Cluster Plan Stage 2
- Scotland’s Net Zero Roadmap (SNZR)
- The Net Zero NW Cluster Plan
- Humber Industrial Cluster Plan
In March 2021, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) awarded £171 million funding across nine projects (stage 1) to support the delivery of significant emissions reduction in at least one UK industrial cluster by 2030.
The stage one deployment projects include:
- Scotland’s Net Zero Infrastructure
- Net Zero Teesside project
- Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Deployment Project (Humber-DP)
- HyNet Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)
- South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC)
- Green Hydrogen for Humber.
UKRI videos on each of the projects can be viewed here