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Transport emissions and R&D projects win UK government funding
The government is to support a series of projects aimed at making progress towards a net zero future, including a highly ambitious initiative to develop zero emission air transport. First, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that UK industry will receive around £350mn to cut down carbon emissions.
The investment package will help businesses to decarbonise across the heavy industry, construction, space and transport sectors. The investment came ahead of the Prime Minister launching the first meeting of the new Jet Zero Council, which is intended to bring together government, the environmental sector and the aviation and aerospace industry to tackle aviation emissions in line with the government’s ambition to achieve the first ever zero emission long haul passenger plane.
Projects set to receive funding will work on developing new technologies that could help companies switch to more energy-efficient means of production, use data more effectively and help support the creation of new green jobs by driving innovation in UK industries. The package includes:
- £139mn to cut emissions in heavy industry by supporting the transition from natural gas to clean hydrogen power, and scaling up carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology;
- £149mn to drive the use of innovative materials in heavy industry; the 13 initial projects will include proposals to reuse waste ash in the glass and ceramics industry, and the development of recyclable steel;
- £26mn to support advanced new building techniques to reduce build costs and carbon emissions in the construction industry;
- launching a New National Space Innovation Programme backed by £15mn initial funding from the UK Space Agency – this will see the first £10mn go towards projects that will monitor climate change across the globe; and
- opening up bids for a further £10mn for R&D in the automotive sector for the development of more efficient electric motors or more powerful batteries.
Second, research and innovation projects across the UK are to receive up to £50,000 each of government funding to support their aim to create high value jobs, upskill local workers and boost economic growth. The 17 projects, running from Glasgow to Cornwall, will help the UK to respond to some of the world’s most pressing challenges – including climate change.
Projects include heating homes and businesses in Glasgow using energy from disused mines; and accelerating the building of large-scale offshore wind farms in the South West of England. Each project will be able to apply for a further longer-term investment of £10–50mn later this year if the early stages of development are successful, through the second round of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund.
The move follows the announcement by the government in June of the first wave of the fund, which saw seven projects across the UK benefit from over £400mn of government and industry funding to develop their research and innovation projects. One of these projects, Artemis Technologies, led a consortium that was awarded £33mn to develop zero emissions ferries in Northern Ireland.