UK Govt to support ‘home-grown’ clean energy with Green Industries Growth Accelerator

The UK Government announced yesterday £4.5bn ($5.6bn) in funding for British manufacturing to increase investment in eight sectors across the UK.

To be made available from 2025 for five years, the funding will be directed towards the automotive industry, aerospace, supporting the manufacturing, supply chain and development of zero emission vehicles and investment in energy efficient and zero-carbon aircraft equipment.

The government will also commit £960m ($1.2bn) for a Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA) to support clean energy manufacturing and £520m ($652m) for life science manufacturing.

By supporting the expansion of home-grown clean energy supply chains across the UK, the GIGA investment will help drive the transition to Net Zero through carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), electricity networks, hydrogen, nuclear and offshore wind.

Along with its existing manufacturing support and plans for Net Zero transition, the package also aims to help unlock private investment, provide certainty to investors, boost energy security and protect and create jobs.

According to the government, this approach has already mobilised £198bn ($248bn) in public and private investment in low carbon energy deployment since 2010.

“Today we are announcing nearly £1bn ($1.2bn) to back our green industries,” said Claire Coutinho, Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary, yesterday. “While we’ve already attracted £200bn ($250.6bn) in low carbon investment since 2010, with another £100bn ($125bn) expected by 2030, this will unlock even more.”

The government also announced that it has accepted all 14 recommendations suggested by Professor Dame Angela McLean in her review on pro-innovation regulation for advanced manufacturing and the government response.

Among the recommendations accepted is to accelerate the deployment of digital twins, which enables companies to create accurate digital replicas of the full manufacturing process. 

Digital twins can help optimise the integration of carbon capture and storage (CCS)/CCUS with renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power. Oil and gas firm Neptune Energy has created digital twins of its platforms located in the Dutch North Sea that will serve in the company’s aim to repurpose some of its facilities for CCS.

Revealed last year, the company said its new digital twins will help speed up work schedules, and cut costs, as well as environmental impacts, by allowing engineers to work onshore.

The company also said the technology will greatly contribute to the planning of its large CCS project in the L10 area of the Dutch North Sea.

Industry reaction

Reacting to the Treasury announcement on GIGA, Ruth Herbert, CEO of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), said, “I am therefore delighted at today’s announcement of investment in the Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support the expansion of strong, home-grown, clean energy supply chains across the UK, including CCUS and hydrogen.”

The CCSA has previously made the case for targeted support and intervention to help UK supply chain companies compete globally in the high value opportunity areas where the UK has ‘comparative strengths’, she added.

“This will enable the UK to build a healthy domestic supply chain and maximise our potential to supply a global market for CCUS components that government estimated could be worth up to £181bn ($226.8bn) per annum by 2050.”

The CCSA estimates that accelerating the UK deployment of CCUS in line with Climate Change Committee (CCC) projections over the next ten years could deliver 70,000 new jobs in the UK.

In its CCUS Net Zero Investment Roadmap, updated in April 2023, the UK Government laid out its 2035 Delivery Plan, which outlines the critical activities and milestones on a path to developing the UK CCUS sector.

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