UK government announce £166.5m for green technology drive
The UK Government announced today a £166.5 million funding boost for green technologies as part of plans to create 60,000 jobs across the country.
The multi-million pound investment, awarded to innovators, businesses, academics, and heavy industry right across the UK, will accelerate the delivery of ‘the critical game-changing technologies needed to further drive Britain’s climate change ambitions.’
The government explained that the money will help develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal, and hydrogen, while also helping find solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy, and waste. The government believes the investment will help put the UK at the forefront of the green technologies of the future, while supporting British industries to lowers costs, remain competitive and protect jobs as they improve their energy efficiency and transition to a green economy.
The UK has ambitious climate commitments, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the world’s most ambitious climate target of reducing UK emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This new investment will help contribute towards these.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy. Today’s major cash boost – targeted at our most polluting industries - will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy, one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and create jobs.
“Just 6 months ago, the Prime Minister set out a clear 10 Point Plan for creating and supporting up to 250,000 British jobs as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic. Today we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the United Kingdom.”
The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan committed to removing 10 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, generating 5GW of hydrogen by 2030, and creating 250,000 green jobs.
The new announcement brings the UK closer to delivering on these commitments set out by the Prime Minister and includes things such as:
- £60 million to support the development of low carbon hydrogen in the UK and to identify and scale-up more efficient solutions for making clean hydrogen from water using electricity. This will take the UK one step closer to using low carbon hydrogen in key industries across the UK – from powering transport such as trains and ships to factories and the heating systems in our homes. This funding will help create around 8,000 hydrogen jobs set out in the 10 Point Plan
- £37.5 million to fund the largest government programme of greenhouse gas removal methods helping cement the UK’s status as a world-leader in this technology. Of this, 24 projects across England and Wales will receive up to £250,000 to fund innovative designs that develop new ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them safely, and a further 5 projects will receive up to £4.5 million each to investigate the viability of adopting greenhouse gas removal methods at scale
- £20 million to support the development of the next generation carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technologies so they can be deployed at scale by 2030. This could include funding innovative technologies that widen the suitability of CCUS to a larger range of UK industrial uses such as chemicals and cement, reducing the cost of deploying CCUS and helping industrial waste or power sector companies to capture and store harmful emissions from the source, before they are emitted into the atmosphere
- £20 million to establish a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre that will accelerate the decarbonisation of key energy-intensive industries which currently make a significant contribution to UK emissions. Run by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, the Centre will bring together new technologies and address the challenges faced by industrial areas, helping to provide solutions that reduce costs, risks and emissions. This centre will connect and empower the UK industrial decarbonisation community with over 140 partners, including industry and business, government and regulatory agencies and world-leading academics, working together to deliver an impactful innovation hub for industrial decarbonisation
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”