Tees Valley could become a world leader in clean growth following Government’s announcement of £170million funding to create a carbon “net-zero” hub of heavy industry.
At the COP24 climate talks in Poland, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry MP today launched a mission to create the world’s first “net-zero” cluster by 2040, with the Tees Valley named as one of the areas which could benefit.
The region’s ambitions mirror those of the UK Government, to provide clean technology, tackle climate change and safeguard and create high-quality jobs by using hydrogen and innovative processes such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).
The announcement came just a fortnight after it was revealed a world-first multibillion-pound energy project would be developed in the region, backed by OG Climate Investments, a consortium of six of the world’s biggest energy giants.
Branded the Clean Gas Project, it will be the world’s first gas-powered energy plant to fully deploy full-chain CCUS at scale, meaning CO2 from Teesside industry will be captured and then stored via pipelines under the North Sea.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “My vision is for the Tees Valley to become the clean growth capital of the UK and we are in pole position to deliver on that.
“We’ve got a commercial project ready to go, which other regions don’t have, we’ve got leading industry working together as part of a cluster, we’ve got our own significant plans under way and we are a key part of the UK’s Local Industrial Strategy.
“Today’s announcement reaffirms Government’s clear commitment to our region and we expect a substantial amount of that funding to come our way. We will be grabbing this opportunity with both hands.”
Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: “Demonstrating climate action and growing the economy go hand in hand is key to building momentum behind global action on carbon. The UK is a leader in both, cutting our emissions by more than 40% while growing our economy by two-thirds, but to sustain this track record we need to tackle emissions from energy intensive sectors and bring clean growth to our great industrial centres.
“That’s why today I’m launching a mission to create the world’s first ‘net-zero’ carbon cluster by 2040 in the UK with up to £170 million of new government funding. This will help to develop the technologies of the future to transform industry around the world, ensuring the UK seizes the global economic opportunities of moving to greener, cleaner industry – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”
Tees Valley already produces more than half of the UK’s hydrogen, making it uniquely placed for the establishment of the UK’s first National Hydrogen Centre. Already working closely with the Materials Processing Institute and TWI, a compelling case will be submitted to this fund to realise the region’s potential in the coming months.
Mayor Houchen added: “I have met Claire Perry many times, pushing the case for our region as a hub for low-carbon industry and clean energy and I am delighted that Government has launched a mission that plays to our strengths. It’s now up to us to present the case for this competition, which could be fantastic news for generations of jobs in our region.
“We led the way for the Industrial Revolution and are now poised to lead the way in the clean energy revolution.”
NEWS RELEASE: ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE TEES VALLEY MAYOR