The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy: key takeaways

Released by BEIS, The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy sets out a blueprint to deliver the world’s first low-carbon industrial sector. The 170-page document builds on the Government’s Ten-Point Plan, giving further details on how the industrial sector can decarbonise in alignment with the UK’s net zero targets.

Transforming industry

Getting the industrial sector to net zero poses a huge challenge, and it’s expected that emissions will need to fall by at least 90% by 2050. To reduce emissions in the UK’s most energy-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and construction, changes will need to be made to the way industry makes goods and consumes energy. The government has set aside £1bn in funding for the strategy, which proposes a range of actions – from transforming industrial processes, supporting low carbon procurement, and improving efficiencies.

Here are some of the key points:

Fuel switching

Transforming industry will rely on the switch to low carbon alternatives to fossil fuels. BEIS will work to establish the right policy framework to ensure uptake of fuel switching to alternatives such as hydrogen, electricity or biomass.

Innovation in low carbon technology

To kick start the process, the Government has allocated £171 million to 9 green tech projects in Scotland, South Wales and North West, Humber and Teesside in England, to undertake engineering and design studies for the rollout of decarbonisation infrastructure, such as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen.

Public sector procurement

As part of their aim to drive demand in low carbon products, the Government will explore the procurement of low carbon materials for public projects. They say, “We want to bring together a coalition of willing countries to set out a collective intention to use public procurement to drive the adoption of green practices, underpinned by a common plan and timetable to collaborate and coordinate our actions.” BEIS will also work to find ways to help businesses make greener choices.

New rules for building efficiency

The Government will introduce new rules around the way energy and carbon performance is measured for the UK’s largest commercial and industrial buildings. By doing this, they estimate that businesses could save up to £2 billion per year in energy costs by 2030 and reduce their carbon emissions by 10%. The rules, which will also apply to office blocks and factories, could reduce carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes – the equivalent to removing emissions from a town the size of Doncaster.

Mitigate carbon leakage

The strategy will also address ‘carbon leakage’, which occurs when businesses transfer production to other countries with fewer emission constraints. Within the strategy, they say that they will establish a targeted approach to mitigate against carbon leakage while ensuring that businesses remain competitive. They have also said that they will use carbon pricing as a tool to send a clear market signal, providing certainty over our net zero ambition for industrial sectors.

Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan for NHS Wales

Yesterday, NHS Wales released its own decarbonisation plan. The strategy outlines 50 initiatives and targets covering areas such as carbon management, transport and procurement. The Welsh government has set aside £16m in funding to support the strategy which is aligned with the Welsh Minister’s target for the public sector to become net zero by 2030.

The 2020s is a crucial decade for decarbonisation, and there is a huge transformation needed when it comes to industry. But there is help available – speak to our team to see how we can support your decarbonisation journey.

[email protected]