The government is putting £90 million behind measures to help cut the UK’s carbon emissions from the UK’s homes and businesses.
Of this, £28 million will fund two low-carbon hydrogen production plants – the first on the banks of the Mersey, and the second planned for near Aberdeen. A third project will develop technology to harness offshore wind off the Grimsby coast to power electrolysis and produce hydrogen.
The investment will also fund projects to trial cutting-edge technologies for switching industrial production from fossil fuels to renewables in industries such as cement and glass production.
And £20 million will fund projects aimed at cutting household emissions and bills through nine UK-wide local ‘smart energy’ projects. More than 250,000 people could have their homes powered by local renewable sources by 2030, says the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – which could lead to their energy bills reducing by as much as half.
In Rugeley, a coal-fired power station is to be demolished and turned into a sustainable village of 2,300 homes. Residents will benefit from thermal storage units instead of traditional gas boilers, enabling them to draw, store and heat their homes with geothermal energy from local canals and disused mine shafts.
In Coleraine, a micro-grid of nearly 100 homes will be created, powered entirely by local wind power. It will help lower household electricity bills by as much as 50 per cent and increase the contribution of renewables to the local energy mix by one-quarter.
BEIS minister Kwasi Kwarteng says: “Cleaning up emissions from industry and housing is a big challenge but [the] £90 million investment will set us on the right path as we develop clean technologies like hydrogen.
“This is an important part of our world-leading efforts in eliminating our contribution to climate change by 2050 while also growing our economy, creating up to 2 million green collar jobs across the country by 2030.
“This investment in low-carbon innovation will be crucial to help us end our contribution to climate change by 2050.”