New jobs and investment are set to come to Wales as the UK Government has today unveiled ambitious plans to scale up affordable, clean, homegrown power and build thriving green industries in Britain.
After decades of reliance on importing expensive, foreign fossil fuels, the Government is delivering a radical shift in our energy system towards cleaner, more affordable energy sources to power more of Britain from Britain.
New green technologies, set to be developed and deployed here in the Wales including carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, will spearhead the government’s new Energy Security Plan.
As part of this, Grant Shapps is announcing £160 million of new funding for pilot projects to build the port infrastructure needed to support further floating offshore wind, through the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme. This scheme will support investment in the infrastructure needed to meet the UK’s ambition of up to 5GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, supported by a substantial pipeline of potential projects in the Celtic sea.
Today, the UK Government confirmed Hanson Padeswood Cement Works carbon capture and storage project – based in the North Wales region – as one of eight projects to be taken forward to negotiations to form the basis of the UK’s new CCUS clusters.
This announcement follows the confirmation in the Spring Budget of £20 billion for CCUS, future-proofing jobs in the industrial heartlands, including the North Sea, contributing to a half a million new green jobs set to be created and supported across the country.
CCUS is a key pillar to the UK’s path to net zero – recognised by the independent Committee on Climate Change as a necessity – and the country’s geography means it has capacity to permanently store carbon emissions taken from our air deep underground and at sea.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Thanks to our unique geography and strong expertise in clean technology, the UK is well placed to create thriving new industries in carbon capture, hydrogen and floating offshore wind across the country.
“By investing in new ways to power Britain from Britain, we will not only strengthen our long-term energy security, but also deliver on our promise to grow the economy with well-paid jobs and opportunities for businesses to export their expertise around the world.”
Energy Security and Net Zero Minister Graham Stuart said:
“Wales will be at the heart of our plans to power up Britain, as we support its development of new home-grown technologies of the future.
“Today’s announcement will create opportunities for welsh businesses to export their expertise around the world and set the standard for a clean, secure and prosperous future.”
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said:
“The UK Government’s Energy Security plan is ambitious and contains fantastic news for the whole of Wales. We know that there is huge potential in the Celtic Sea for floating offshore wind and we have the best sites for new nuclear developments.
“The UK Government is supporting plans for the Celtic Sea to deliver enough clean, secure electricity for 4 million homes by 2035. Today we’ve announced £160m of government funding to kickstart investment in building the infrastructure in ports to allow them to deliver this innovative source of renewable energy.
“The establishment of Great British Nuclear will support our ambition to ramp up nuclear capacity in the UK to a quarter of our energy demand by 2050. I am eager to see nuclear energy brought back to Wales and the development of a floating offshore wind industry, creating jobs, spreading growth and prosperity and securing our energy supply.”
The UK Government has also set an ambition for 10GW of hydrogen production by 2030 – which could generate enough clean electricity to power all of London for a year.
Wales will be central to these plans, where one of the first successful applicants to the £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund will be located. Fifteen projects will be awarded grant funding of £37.9m to support the development and deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production plants. Hydrogen will play an important role in helping intensive industries such as chemicals, steel and cement convert to using clean energy.
The successful project is Statkraft’s Trecwn Green Hydrogen Valley project. It plans to build a 15MW electrolyser system to produce green hydrogen, using the region’s excellent wind and solar resources to produce a sustainable fuel for transport and other industrial application.
Alongside this, three companies based in Wales have been shortlisted to proceed to the next stage of the first electrolytic hydrogen Allocation round (HAR1).
- RES and Octopus Green Hydrogen
- Marubeni Europower
- H2 energy and Trafigura
The government say today’s plans will help deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise to grow the economy across Wales, supporting new green jobs, creating a strategic advantage in new clean industries, and generating opportunities for Welsh businesses to export their expertise around the world.