A £20 million funding boost that will help further cut Wales’s carbon footprint has been welcomed as a ‘major step forward’.
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has awarded the funding to support the second phase of a £37 million programme that will create new jobs while decarbonising the economy.
The programme is being led by the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) – a partnership of organisations from the English border to Pembrokeshire’s coastline that’s working to promote green energy and decarbonise industrial areas of Wales.
Phase two of the programme involves engineering studies to explore routes to decarbonisation, including the use and production of hydrogen supply, carbon capture usage and storage, and CO2 shipping from South Wales.
Projects in the pipeline are expected to create around 5,000 new jobs in clean energy production, securing up to 113,000 industry and manufacturing jobs.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region’s Joint Committee, said:
“This funding is a major step forward for the drive to further carbonise Wales’s economy, while creating thousands of jobs and helping Wales achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Several projects forming part of the Swansea Bay City Deal investment are also focused on green energy and decarbonisation, so this programme will continue to support and complement other on-going initiatives in South West Wales.
“Together with other investments, the programme being led by the South Wales Industrial Cluster will help accelerate the Swansea Bay City Region’s economic recovery from Covid-19, but in a green and sustainable way that will leave a positive long-term legacy for generations to come.
“The City Region supported the bid for this funding, so I’m delighted that it’s been successful.”
The South Wales Industrial Cluster deployment programme, led by Costain, has been granted the phase two funding following the completion of phase one assessments looking at decarbonisation schemes and the infrastructure required for a hydrogen economy in South Wales.
The project is supported by a range of partner organisations from the industrial, academic, law, public and private sectors working across South Wales to create the world’s first net zero emissions industrial zone.
Partners involved in the deployment programme include Associated British Ports, Capital Law Limited, CR Plus Limited, Industry Wales, Lanza Tech, Lightsource bp, Port of Milford Haven, Progressive Energy, RWE, Shell, SIMEC Atlantis Energy, Tata Steel, Tarmac, University of South Wales, Valero Energy and Wales & West Utilities.