The UK government has this week (Wednesday 12 January) launched a new programme to help develop innovative technologies to produce hydrogen, a clean energy source, from sustainable biomass and waste.
Backed with £5 million in government funding, the new Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will set out to support the development of technologies to produce hydrogen generated via BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage).
The BECCS process produces hydrogen from biomass and waste, with the ability to capture and store the carbon released during the process.
BECCS technology can uniquely offer the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass and the organic content found in waste can then be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies.
Hydrogen BECCS technologies therefore have a key role to play on the UK’s path to net zero emissions, providing hydrogen as a clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport and heavy industry, while also removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “This innovative technology offers incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, crucial to reaching our net zero goals.
This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions
“This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions.”
Applicants from small businesses and large companies, to research institutions and universities, can now bid for a share of £5 million new government funding under Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme.
Each project will be able to bid for up to £250,000 to help develop their project plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation. Phase 1 will then be followed by a second Phase, that will provide further funding to support the most promising Phase 1 projects to demonstrate their projects.
This new programme will set out to support the government’s plan to develop a ‘thriving low-carbon hydrogen sector’ as part of the UK’s ‘green industrial revolution’.
As a fuel that emits only water vapour when used within a fuel cell, the UK government says hydrogen has a ‘critical role’ to play in its transition to net zero, with the potential to help reduce emissions from hard to decarbonise areas of the economy, such as transport and heavy industry.
The government says hydrogen BECCS technologies present a ‘key opportunity’ for the UK, saying this new programme will be ‘crucial’ in supporting this new type of technology to be developed and scaled up for commercialisation in the UK, ‘helping the nation on the path to net zero while also providing new green jobs and encouraging private investment’.