Government confirms track 1 CCUS clusters

Hydrogen

The HyNet and East Coast Clusters have been confirmed as track 1 clusters through the government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) cluster sequencing process.

On 19 October, Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change Minister, Greg Hands, confirmed the cluster sequencing process – which has £1bn to provide industry with the certainty to deploy CCUS at pace and scale – had completed the first phase of the evaluation of five cluster submissions. HyNet North West and the East Coast Cluster will now be taken forward into Track-1 negotiations to begin decarbonising industry from 2025.

The Scottish Cluster has been announced a reserve cluster, meaning that it has met the eligibility criteria and will fill in if a back-up is required. The government will continue to engage with it through the second phase of the sequencing process, with Track-2 projects to begin decarbonising industry from around 2030.

The East Coast Cluster – a collaboration between Zero Carbon Humber, Net Zero Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership – is aiming to remove almost 50% of all UK industrial cluster CO2 emissions once fully operational, or 27mn tonnes of CO2 emissions a year by 2030. It will support an average of 25,000 jobs a year between 2023 and 2050 in carbon capture, low carbon hydrogen production, negative emissions power and power with carbon capture, reaching a peak of 41,000 jobs in 2026.

HyNet North West, meanwhile, will begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales from 2025. It will reduce carbon emissions by 10mn tonnes a year from 2030, as well as providing almost 50% of the total hydrogen needed to reach the UK’s net zero target and delivering 80% of the UK’s clean power target for transport, industry and homes. As well as protecting tens of thousands of existing jobs, it will create over 6,000 local roles, while helping to deliver 75,000 by 2035 nationally through a hydrogen economy and unlocking £18bn in Gross Value Added.