UK launches decarbonization competitions as part of net zero efforts

FILE PHOTO: Steam and smoke billow from the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station near Nottingham, Britain, Dec. 1, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government on Wednesday announced two competitions that will award a total of about 140 million pounds ($180 million) to industrial decarbonization projects as part of efforts to help the UK achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The competitions aim to help support projects to decarbonize industry, such as carbon capture and hydrogen power, and boost plans to establish the world’s first net zero industrial cluster, or group of similar and related firms in a specific geographic area, by 2040.

The UK in June passed laws requiring greenhouse gas emissions, about a quarter of which are produced by industry, to be cut to net zero by 2050 as part of attempts to tackle climate change.

In the first competition, businesses can apply for a share of up to 1 million pounds to develop plans for decarbonizing an industrial cluster.

Successful applicants will then compete in a second phase where up to 131 million pounds will be awarded for projects which deliver or support significant emissions reductions in an industrial cluster by 2030.

In the second competition, UK organizations can apply for a share of up to 1 million pounds to prepare plans for achieving low-carbon and net zero industrial clusters.

Then, up to 8 million pounds will be awarded for the development of decarbonization plans or roadmaps for major UK industrial clusters.

Both competitions close on Dec. 4.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Susan Fenton