40 Humberside businesses and organisations have submitted a funding bid for £36m for ‘ground-breaking’ ideas to transform the Humber economy into a world leader in green industries.
Called ‘Energy Estuary 2.0’, the government funding would be used to pay for the latest research and world leaders in their field based in the Humber and drive innovations in clean energy.
The University of Hull, who is behind the bid, says it would result in a range of demonstrator projects that would allow industry to test and pilot new technologies which could be used to lower harmful emissions.
If successful, it’s claimed the bid would lead to the creation of 2,000 jobs in green industries rising to over 10,000 jobs by 2030. It could also grow the overall size of the Humber economy by a quarter, as many of the jobs created are likely to attract higher wages.
One of the ideas is the development of a £12m ‘localised energy station’ that could provide heating, cooling and electric to homes and businesses at a lower cost, sharing energy amongst each other, instead of taking energy from the national grid. Others include a mobile machine that captures carbon emissions from polluting industry and a range of clean fuels being produced from non-recyclable plastics and even wastewater.
The aim of the bid is to build on the Humber’s reputation as the UK’s ‘Energy Estuary’ given a quarter of UK energy is produced here, which now includes the largest offshore wind farm in the world.
However, the Humber remains the highest carbon polluting area in the UK as many energy-intensive industries such as steelmaking, chemicals and oil refining are based in the area, all of which still consume a lot of fossil fuel energy to power their operations.
The application is being made to the ‘Strength in Places Fund’, led by UKRI who are responsible for over £7bn of research funding across the UK.
Dr David Richards, vice-chancellor for research & enterprise at the University of Hull said: ‘The area has made incredible progress on how to generate clean energy, which has already had a huge impact on the local economy.
‘We have so much expertise at our fingertips. Many of the large industries here want to innovate to become greener and more efficient, coupled with our world-leading research and technical capabilities from across the University of Hull, including our Energy & Environment Institute and the Aura Innovation Centre.
‘Together, we want to continue the progress made to date and fully capitalise on the opportunities in front of us.’