UK Government launches £315m fund to decarbonise heavy industry
Businesses to save up to £1 billion a year in energy bills
The UK government is investing £315m ($400m, €365m) to find new technologies that will help energy-intensive businesses reduce emissions and cut power bills.
The Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) was launched to improve the UK’s energy efficiency, as the country moves to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Heavy industry currently makes up a quarter of the UK’s carbon footprint. The biggest users are: cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel, oil refining, and pulp and paper.
The IETF will help these industries cut carbon emissions by 2m tonnes, equivalent to taking nearly 200,000 cars off the road each year. This would save them £1bn a year on their energy bills by 2030.
UK energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is already cutting emissions faster than any other major economy and we’re the first to legislate to end our contribution to climate change entirely. Eliminating emissions from industry is key to achieving this, but doing so does not have to mean compromising our business success. That’s why we’re bolstering our investment in clean growth.”
The decarbonising scheme builds on the £250m Clean Steel Fund which was launched in August to help the UK’s steel manufacturing sector reduce emissions.
“Ensuring energy intensive businesses are equipped with the latest low-emission technologies will not only help our transition to net-zero, but will also ensure these companies are more agile and competitive going forward – creating new skilled, well-paid jobs,” said Kwarteng.
The first phase of the fund will be launched in spring 2020, with the second phase in 2021.
In October Goldman Sachs said that climate change provided an opportunity to unlock economic growth.