In a bid to support the future of British industry, the government has unveiled a funding package worth £49.4mn to be awarded to pioneering projects across the country.
The funding forms the second phase of the £55mn Industrial Fuel Switching competition, which is striving to make it more cost effective for industry to embrace cleaner fuels, such as hydrogen, over fossil fuels. The first phase saw £5.6mn awarded to 21 projects for early-stage feasibility studies into their designs, including projects to support the ceramics, food production and steel sectors in being powered by hydrogen rather than natural gas.
The second phase of funding is centred around backing projects in demonstrating fuel switch and fuel switch enabling solutions, with between £1mn to £6mn available per project. It is open to all applicants, regardless of whether they participated in the first phase, with funding divided up onto three lots: fuel switch and fuel switch enabling technologies for hydrogen; fuel switch and fuel switch enabling technologies for electrification; and fuel switch and fuel switch enabling technologies for biomass, wastes, and other net zero compatible fuels.
On hydrogen, it noted that when it is the proposed decarbonisation fuel switch for a project, then applicants should look to engage with potential hydrogen suppliers to consider where they will source hydrogen supply for a trial, how this would be delivered in the timescales available, and how any potential challenges related to hydrogen supply will be overcome. It stressed it to be important for applicants to engage with an organisation that can supply hydrogen and to provide evidence of this engagement as part of their bid. It also noted that with hydrogen production expected to develop and decarbonise, for the purposes of proving an industrial fuel switching innovative technology, any supply of hydrogen – including green or blue – will be considered for the competition, though applicants will be expected to set out a path to low carbon hydrogen beyond the competition in their application.
Prospective applicants need to be registered no later than 2PM on 11 November 2022, with their applications for the competition then needing to be submitted by 2PM on 25 November 2022 to then be eligible for funding.