The North West Energy & Hydrogen Cluster will produce a roadmap to help the region become the first decarbonised industrial cluster with the use of hydrogen and carbon capture technologies.
The announcement follows a report from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) which revealed that over £40bn could be invested in the engineering construction industry by 2050 – with approximately £7bn estimated for the North West.
The report outlines how the UK can deploy technologies such as hydrogen, as well as attracting new talents and upskilling existing workforces in order to decarbonise the industrial and energy sectors.
“The North West is poised to come forward as the first decarbonised industrial cluster. New technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, smart grids and renewable energy projects are already transforming the engineering construction sector in the region,” said Emma Degg from the North West Hydrogen and Energy Cluster.
Led by the University of Chester and Manchester Metropolitan University, the Cluster skills roadmap will seek to understand the skills requirements of industry in the region as businesses respond to the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Under Government plans, at least one industrial cluster must decarbonise fully by 2040, with the remaining five becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The North West is bidding to become the first.
“Engineering construction is a dynamic industry and the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies in recent years shows industry can successfully adapt to transform big challenges into great opportunities,” said Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive.
“Our Towards Net Zero report points to new technologies, such as hydrogen fuels and carbon capture, that we must embrace in order to meet our climate change targets.”
“To do this, we need a vibrant and skilled contracting industry to successfully deliver the technologies and infrastructure required to decarbonise industrial sites and processes.”