The UK Government has injected £32.5 million to implement clean energy solutions into various industrial sectors as part of the second phase of the Red Diesel Replacement Competition.
The funding will help industries such as construction, mining and quarrying transition away from what is known as “red oil”, gas oil, by exploring innovative clean technologies such as electrification and green hydrogen. In doing so, the UK will be able to drive decarbonisation deeper into hard-to-abate sectors.
Highlighted by the Government is the need to decarbonise some of the applications red oil is used for within these sectors. In particular, off-road, heavy-duty vehicles and machinery such as bulldozers and cranes, commonly use the carbon intensive fuel to power its operations.
Switching to a clean alternative could provide several boosts to the renewable and hydrogen sector. Firstly, it could spur significant growth for electrification within heavy industrial sectors. Secondly, it could also help drive an initial market for green hydrogen – something that could be key to decarbonising difficult to electrify sectors.
“These industrial sectors, and the jobs they create, are crucial to our economy, and they also have an important role to play in our shift towards a greener, more secure future,” said the minister for Energy and Climate Change, Graham Stuart.
“This latest round of funding will help to speed up industrial decarbonisation, providing industry and consumers with effective low-carbon alternatives to red diesel while boosting green investment to future-proof the resilience of British industry.”
The £32.5 million package will support three to five demonstration projects that participated in the first phase of the programme. £6.2 million had previously been provided to 17 winners in the first phase.
The UK has been scaling its investment in renewable technologies such as hydrogen in a bid to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors and explore innovative technologies that could enrich the energy mix as the nation races towards net zero.
This commitment saw the UK Government allocate a total of £102 million to support both nuclear and hydrogen innovation in mid-December. Of this funding, nuclear received a larger allocation of financial support with £77 million being injected to spur the development of the UK’s nuclear sector.
£25 million had also been allocated to spur the creation of hydrogen through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The creation of clean hydrogen via this method could enable deeper decarbonisation for hard-to-abate sectors within the UK.