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UK government launches Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme

In the UK, the Government's Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched a new program to help develop innovative technologies to produce hydrogen, a clean energy source, from sustainable biomass and waste. Backed with £5 million (≈ €6 million) in government funding, the new Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support the development of technologies to produce hydrogen generated via bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The UK government’s Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has launched Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme, a new GBP 5 million (≈ EUR 6 million) program to help develop innovative technologies to produce hydrogen, a clean energy source, from sustainable biomass and waste.

BECCS technology can uniquely offer the ability to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, as the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass and the organic content found in waste, can then be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies.

Hydrogen BECCS technologies, therefore, have a key role to play on the UK’s path to net-zero emissions, providing hydrogen as a clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as transport and heavy industry, while also removing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere.

This innovative technology offers incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, crucial to reaching our net-zero goals. This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said.

Open for applications

As of January 12, 2022, applicants from small businesses and large companies, to research institutions and universities, will be able to bid for a share of GBP5 million (≈ EUR 6 million) new government funding under Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme.

This is funded through BEIS’s GBP 1 billion (≈ EUR 1.2 billion) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, announced in the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

Each project will be able to bid for up to GBP 250 000 (≈ EUR 300 000) to help develop their project plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation. Phase 1 will then be followed by a second Phase, that will provide further funding to support the most promising Phase 1 projects to demonstrate their projects.

The program seeks to support the development of innovative hydrogen BECCS technology solutions across three categories:

  • Feedstock pre-processing: the development of low cost, energy, and material efficient technologies which will optimize biomass and waste feedstocks for use in advanced gasification technologies;
  • Gasification components: the development of advanced gasification technology components. Advanced gasification technologies are thermal conversion technologies that can be used to convert biomass or waste into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, green hydrogen, biomethane, and other green hydrocarbons; and
  • Novel biohydrogen technologies: the development of new biohydrogen technologies which can be combined with carbon capture, for example, dark fermentation, anaerobic digestion (AD), wastewater treatment.

Hydrogen BECCS technologies will support the UK government’s plan to develop a “thriving low-carbon hydrogen sector” as part of the UK’s green industrial revolution.

As a clean fuel, emitting only water vapor when combusted, hydrogen has a critical role to play in the transition to net-zero, with the potential to help reduce emissions from hard to decarbonize areas of the economy, such as transport and heavy industry.

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