Strategy for decarbonising industry released by UK Government

Article by Amanda Doyle

Outlines plans to reduce emissions in line with 2050 net zero target

THE UK Government has released its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, outlining its plans to reduce emissions from heavy-carbon industries in line with the net zero by 2050 target.

The Government has recently been criticised over its slow progress in detailing exactly how it will reach net zero emissions by 2050, and was also called out on its inconsistent messages on green policies, as well as insufficient funding. It has now released the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy which sets the target of reducing industrial emissions by two thirds by 2035 and 90% by 2050 compared to 2018 levels, to reach the net zero target. Emissions from industry are responsible for 16% of the total UK emissions. However, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) – the independent body that advises the UK Government on climate policy – has recommended a reduction target of 70% by 2035 and 90% by 2040 compared to 2018 levels.

The strategy aims to have 20 TWh/y of low-carbon power in industry by 2030, with fuels such as hydrogen, bioenergy, and clean electricity replacing fossil fuels. It anticipates that low-carbon or green hydrogen used as a fuel could be consumed at a rate of 10–16 TWh/y by 2030. This could rise to 86 TWh by 2050 if there is widespread access to hydrogen. Further details will appear in the Hydrogen Strategy, due to be published later this year.

It also says that 3m t/y of CO2 will be captured from industry by 2030, rising to 8–14m t/y by 2050. This is in contrast with the target of 10m t/y of CO2 captured by 2030 as set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. However, according to Business Green, a Government spokesperson said that the remaining 7m t/y would be captured in other sectors such as power plants. The Government has previously committed funding for the CCUS Infrastructure Fund which will support the development of four low-carbon clusters by 2030, and at least one net zero cluster by 2040.

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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