The UK government announced the second phase of a funding scheme that will support carbon capture technologies aiming to help the country address its greenhouse gas emissions. The fund amounts to $84.6 million (£64 million) and will take carbon capture projects beyond the design and feasibility studies, towards demonstration.
The initiative is part of the Direct Air Capture and Greenhouse Gas Removal Programme announced in June 2020. The second phase of the scheme opened for applications on December 7th, 2021. Only applicants that were successful at phase 1 are eligible to take part in phase 2 and compete for the £64 million in grant funding.
According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), at least one of the supported projects is expected to reach commercial operations by 2025. The initiatives that were supported under the first phase of the fund include direct air capture technologies and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
The financing for the scheme is also provided by the Government’s £1bn Net-Zero Innovation Fund, announced at the Budget in March 2021. Its goal is to accelerate the commercialization of low-carbon technologies, systems, and business models.
“British businesses and entrepreneurs are already leading the world with innovative solutions to tackling climate change. This is not only good for the planet, but will bring new jobs and investment across the UK,” said the UK Energy Minister Greg Hands.
Under its plan, the UK government wants to deliver 10 million tons of CO2 capture annually by the end of the decade. The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) though recommends the nation should capture 22 million tons of CO2 equivalent annually using technological and nature-based methods by 2030.
The carbon capture investments are needed in order for innovative projects in their initial stages of development to move towards demonstration and eventually reach commercial scale. While a rapid expansion of carbon capture capacity and low-emissions technologies are foreseen, the world would need even bigger efforts to remove the 40 gigatons of man-made emissions released into the atmosphere every year.