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Striking the balance between competition and collaboration in the race to decarbonise the UK

Striking the balance between competition and collaboration in the race to decarbonise the UK

In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to pass laws demonstrating its commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. Many industrial areas of the UK remain heavily reliant on carbon fuels.

Industry represents nearly one quarter of all UK carbon emissions and the reduction of this figure is crucial for the UK Government to achieve these goals by 2050.

The £20m Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) aims to address the challenges of industrial decarbonisation. It will work with the UK’s major industrial clusters and biggest emitters of carbon dioxide to transform these areas into world-leading, low-carbon manufacturing hubs, delivering at least one low-carbon industrial cluster by 2030, and the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040.

Hydrogen has huge potential to support the decarbonisation of our industry and economy. Low-carbon hydrogen could be used as a substitute for natural gas in industry, transport fuel, and by building a smart hydrogen infrastructure, we can help integrate renewable technologies, such as wind farms, into the power system and balance output. A recent report by Aurora[1] shows that hydrogen could provide up to 50% of the UK’s energy demand by 2050.

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