26 Oct 2021
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has welcomed a government decision to back an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project for the North West and North Wales.
The HyNet programme became one of just two carbon capture, usage and storage schemes nationally to be selected for further development by government. The Metro Mayor and local leaders have played an active role in recent years in lobbying the government to support the scheme.
The decision means the HyNet project could begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales from 2025, reducing annual CO2 emissions by 10m tonnes by 2030.
HyNet will produce hydrogen to replace fossil fuels in transport, industry and homes while also capturing and storing carbon dioxide produced by energy-intensive industry.
Mayor Rotheram said: “The decision is a massive show of confidence from government that the North can lead the country’s transition to net zero – with our region front and centre.
“I’ve been a longstanding and passionate advocate of HyNet, for its revolutionary approach to clean, green energy, and for its capacity to protect and create thousands of high-skilled, high-paid jobs across the region. And it is the Liverpool City Region that is at the heart of HyNet, from pioneering trials of new technology in St Helens and the Wirral, to carbon storage in Liverpool Bay.
“When it is up and running in 2025, it will provide a huge boost to our economy and our ambitious net zero targets. This project alone will reduce the region’s carbon emissions by 10m tonnes each and every year by 2030. It could also generate up to £31bn for the UK and will single-handedly deliver 80% of the UK’s clean power targets by the end of the decade.
“It is my ambition for our region to be at the forefront of the green industrial revolution, leading the charge towards net zero, and taking advantage of the myriad of jobs, investment and opportunities that it provides. From our existing strengths in wind and solar power, to revolutionary new projects like HyNet and our Mersey Tidal Power scheme, our region has the potential to be Britain’s Renewable Energy Coast – with local people benefiting from the employment and training opportunities that go with it.”
The decision sees HyNet become one of two ‘clusters’ that will go forward for government negotiations and scrutiny. If it represents value for money for the consumer and taxpayer, it is likely to receive support under the government’s Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Programme. A £1bn fund has been created to fund carbon capture and storage infrastructure projects.
Councillor David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Climate Emergency and Renewable Energy, said: “We know that Climate Change presents enormous challenges but also tremendous opportunities for our region.
“Today’s announcement on HyNet puts us at the heart of the fight to tackle the climate emergency and reach net zero carbon through technological and industrial innovation, creating thousands of jobs in the process.
“Carbon Capture and Storage and switching to low-carbon fuels are the keys to so many of our plans to decarbonise our economy, which makes this announcement hugely significant as the starting point for a vital new industry right here in the Liverpool City Region.”
HyNet North West is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project that will unlock a low carbon economy for the North West and North Wales and put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.
From 2025, HyNet will produce, store and distribute hydrogen as well as capture and store carbon from industry in the North West of England and North Wales.
It will use state-of-the-art technology to build new infrastructure whilst also upgrading and reusing existing infrastructure which is currently involved in fossil fuel production. Its infrastructure is designed to be both affordable and safe, and to be built quickly to help the region and the UK to meet its net-zero targets.
Hynet is part of North West Net Zero’s £207bn Economic Investment Prospectus, that sets out how 18 projects can help meet the North West goal of net zero carbon by 2040.