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Innovate UK Announces Net Zero Hydrogen Fund Competitions

Development and capital funding is available for businesses undertaking projects in the UK for new low carbon hydrogen production facilities.
By Sarah Pearce,
Development and capital funding is available for businesses undertaking projects in the UK for new low carbon hydrogen production facilities.

The Net Zero Hydrogen Fund (NZHF) is providing capital and development expenditure to support the commercial deployment of new low carbon hydrogen production projects during the 2020s. The aim is to ensure the UK has a diverse and secure decarbonised energy system, fit for meeting the ambition of 10GW low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, and the Government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

The first two strands of the programme will be delivered by Innovate UK (IUK), as follows:
  • Strand 1 - Development Expenditure (DEVEX)This competition will support development expenditure (DEVEX) costs for front end engineering design (FEED) and post-FEED studies. The aim is to build the pipeline of hydrogen production projects and measurably move them closer to deployment. The competition supports multiple hydrogen production pathways. IUK will fund industrial research projects to support preparation for deployment.
  • Strand 2 - Capital expenditure (CAPEX)This competition will provide capital expenditure (CAPEX) to support low carbon projects to take a Final Investment Decision (FID) and begin deployment in the early 2020s. Projects must not require support from a hydrogen business model. The competition supports multiple hydrogen production pathways. IUK will fund capital projects which do not require support from a Hydrogen Business Model. Projects project must address low carbon hydrogen production opportunities and must focus on construction of new low carbon hydrogen production facilities.
Up to £90 million has been allocated to fund projects across strands 1 and 2, however, the breakdown between the strands is not fixed. For Strand 1, a project’s total grant request must be between £80,000 and £15 million. For Strand 2, a project’s total grant request must be between £200,000 and £30 million.

The competitions are open to single applicants and collaborations, carrying out projects in the UK. To lead a project or work alone the organisation must be a UK registered business of any size. Companies involved in the construction of low carbon hydrogen production projects, and those that are looking for development support for low carbon hydrogen production projects, will qualify.

To collaborate with the lead, applicants must be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not-for-profit or public sector organisation.

Applications open today (25 April 2022) and close on 22 June 2022 (11:00 BST).