UK establishes funds to support steel decarbonization

by David Fleschen

The UK is a world leader in clean growth and in setting the ambitious , legally binding target of achieving net zero emissions across the economy by 2050. The UK goverment has now demonstrated its commitment to maintain this position.
Steel is seen as strategically important industry for the UK and can be an important part of the UK clean growth story. an official government statement says. To catalyse transformation, the government plans to establish a new £250m Clean Steel Fund to provide a long-term signal of support to the steel sector and its decarbonisation efforts.
The Fund will seek to support the sector to:
  • Transition to lower carbon iron and steel production through new technologies and processes, placing the sector on a pathway that is consistent with the UK Climate Change Act (net zero).
  • Maximise longevity and resilience in the UK steel sector by building on expertise and skills and harnessing clean growth opportunities. This call for evidence seeks views and supporting evidence to help us develop the detailed design of the Fund, including on barriers to realising clean steel ambitions, and the opportunities to be gained in overcoming these.
Current evidence shows options for reducing emissions from steel in primary and secondary production can be grouped into three broad categories.
These are: switching to lower carbon fuels , including hydrogen; industrial carbon capture (ICC); and energy and material efficiency. The Clean Steel Fund will be an important addition to the government’s support for industrial decarbonisation.
It will build on and enhance existing and planned policies including the £315 Industrial Energy Transformation Fund ( IETF ), the Industrial Clusters Mission and up to £170m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) that has been allocated to kick -start delivery of the Mission, and the CCUS Action Plan. The goverment also intends to establish a new £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund , to support the deployment of low carbon hydrogen production at scale. This could enable a pathway to low er carbon steel production and support broader efforts to decarbonise industry. Together these policies will be a vital part of transforming UK industry and seizing the opportunities of clean growth which are at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy.

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