The government has backed a major plan that could see the North West become one of the world's first low-carbon industrial clusters.
The HyNet North West programme today became one of just two carbon capture, usage and storage schemes nationally to be selected for further development by government after lobbying from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and local leaders.
HyNet North West is a project that if approved would supply clean hydrogen and store carbon dioxide, helping businesses across the region cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce costs, and launch green products.
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Today's decision means the HyNet project could begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales from 2025, reducing annual CO2 emissions by 10m tonnes by 2030.
The project will produce hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in transport, industry and homes while also capturing and storing carbon dioxide produced by energy-intensive industry.
HyNet become one of two 'clusters' that will go forward for government negotiations and scrutiny.
If it represents value for money for the consumer and taxpayer, it is likely to receive support under the government's Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Programme.
A £1bn fund has been created to fund carbon capture and storage infrastructure projects.
HyNet North West is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project that could unlock a low carbon economy for the North West and North Wales and put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.
From 2025, HyNet will produce, store and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industry in the North West of England and North Wales.
It will use state-of-the-art technology to build new infrastructure whilst also upgrading and reusing existing infrastructure which is currently involved in fossil fuel production.
Its infrastructure is designed to be both affordable and safe, and to be built quickly to help the region and the UK to meet its net-zero targets.
The project has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by 10 million tonnes every year by 2030 – the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road.
And as well as protecting tens of thousands of existing jobs, HyNet will create over 6,000 local roles,
Mayor Rotheram said: “Today’s decision is a massive show of confidence from government that the North can lead the country’s transition to net zero – with our region front and centre.
“I’ve been a longstanding and passionate advocate of HyNet, for its revolutionary approach to clean, green energy, and for its capacity to protect and create thousands of high-skilled, high-paid jobs across the region. And it is the Liverpool City Region that is at the heart of HyNet, from pioneering trials of new technology in St Helens and the Wirral, to carbon storage in Liverpool Bay.
“When it is up and running in 2025, it will provide a huge boost to our economy and our ambitious net zero targets. This project alone will reduce the region’s carbon emissions by 10m tonnes each and every year by 2030. It could also generate up to £31bn for the UK and will single-handedly deliver 80% of the UK’s clean power targets by the end of the decade.
“It is my ambition for our region to be at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, leading the charge towards net zero, and taking advantage of the myriad of jobs, investment and opportunities that it provides.
"From our existing strengths in wind and solar power, to revolutionary new projects like HyNet and our Mersey Tidal Power scheme, our region has the potential to be Britain’s Renewable Energy Coast – with local people benefiting from the employment and training opportunities that go with it.”
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