Ben Houchen has welcomed the government’s announcement that Teesside-based clean energy projects will get a share of £350m to support green jobs and the UK’s green recovery.
The government has announced the package of support to fund carbon capture, hydrogen and other green projects across the UK in its latest steps to lead the UK’s green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will support businesses across the UK’s industrial heartlands utilise hydrogen power and carbon capture and storage instead of natural gas, as well as helping energy-intensive businesses reduce their energy bills, creating new, green jobs and lowering carbon emissions.
This will cut manufacturers’ overall emissions by 20% by 2030 – the equivalent of taking almost two million cars off the road, and Teesside has already been highlighted by government as a location to benefit from this cash.
Teesside-based projects, such as Net Zero Teesside, will be amongst 25 projects across the country that will get government cash to bolster the country’s clean and resilient economic recovery, as well as helping to establish the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040.
Net Zero Teesside will see the creation of the world’s first full-scale Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Facility, creating thousands of direct jobs, pumping almost half a billion pounds into the regional economy and boost the wider UK by £3.2billion.
The ambitious project by five of the world’s largest oil companies could capture and store up to ten million tonnes of CO2 each year which is the equivalent to the annual energy use of more than three million homes.
The process removes CO2 from heavy industry and power plants and transports it by pipeline to storage sites located several miles under the North Sea.
Tees mayor Houchen said: “It is fantastic that the government has thrown its weight behind our clean energy plans.
“Here in Teesside we are leading the way for our green recovery and I am delighted that the government has recognised this and put us right at the front of its plans for the UK’s green ambition.
“Net Zero Teesside isn’t just a key part of my plan for jobs – a plan to create good quality, high skilled local jobs for local people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – but it will create the clean, green jobs which are essential for our recovery and our future.
“We are already leading the way in the UK in new, clean and innovate technologies.
“The UKs first trail on e-scooters on UK roads will take place across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, providing us with a clean, innovative form of travel that is widely available as a clean energy, socially distant mode of transport.
“Teesside has led the world in steel manufacturing and engineering for generations. Now we can become a trail blazer in the industries of the future, and I am delighted that the government recognises this and shares my ambition for our region.”
Mayor Houchen has previously called on the government to establish a National Hydrogen Transport Centre in Teesside, which would result in the testing of new hydrogen technologies, including for cars, buses, trains, bin lorries and trucks, taking place in Teesside, where more than half of the UK’s hydrogen is already produced.
The National Hydrogen Transport Centre would sit alongside plans to build the world’s biggest hydrogen refuelling station in Teesside – plans which have already been backed by government, and the knock-on benefits of a strong hydrogen economy include adding up to £7billion to the region’s economy from now until 2050, creating thousands of jobs in the process.