New tech to help heavy industry to cut 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions

The government is looking for the most effective ways to cut industrial greenhouse gas emissions, as part of £315m investment drive to decarbonise heavy industry and reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced the investment drive alongside a public consultation to better understand which areas the capital spending should be deployed.

Sustainable Resource Management Sustainability - StockThe Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) will officially launch in the Spring of 2020 and be open to applications in the Summer.

The government is seeking industry views as part of the consultation process to determine which technologies it will support and who should be eligible for investment.

It claims the money will help businesses invest in efficiency measures designed to bring down power use and in turn reduce carbon emission output.

If properly deployed, BEIS claims its plans can “drastically improve” energy efficiencies for commercial buildings, collectively saving businesses up to £1bn a year on energy bills by 2030.

It also said investment in efficiency measures “will shrink industrial emissions by around 2 million tonnes between 2028 and 2032 – the equivalent of taking nearly 200,000 cars off the road every year”.

BEIS has also proposed setting a minimum standard for energy efficiency in commercial properties by 2030, through the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band B.

Net zero carbon emissions

In June, the UK government became the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to climate change by 2050.

The US has announced that aluminium and steel tariffs on imports from the EU are to come into force - image courtesy of Depositphotos.Industry emissions currently account for around 25% of all UK emissions, with cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel, oil refining, and pulp and paper sectors among the worst offenders.

The eight sectors collectively emit about two-thirds of industrial carbon emissions.

BEIS said it is “keen to fund tried-and-tested low-carbon industrial processes, as well as exploring new options that will keep British industries agile”.

It points to examples like Swiss food and drinks manufacturer, Nestle, which is cutting energy costs by nearly £150,000 a year by using high temperature heat pumps for heating and cooling during the chocolate manufacturing process; and Ibstock Bricks, which uses robots to make efficient repetitive manufacturing processes, halving its emission output for every brick produced.

After the first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund is launched in Spring 2020 with applications open in Summer, BEIS said it expects to launch the second phase in 2021.

Business, Energy and Clean Growth minister, Kwasi Kwarteng commented: “Ensuring energy-intensive businesses are equipped with the latest low-emission technologies will not only help our transition to net-zero, but will also ensure these companies are more agile and competitive going forward – creating new skilled, well-paid jobs.”

The consultation process will close at 11.45pm on 21 November 2019. 

For more information visit Industrial Energy Transformation Fund 

By Rory Butler, Staff Journalist

*Image courtesy of Depositphotos