On 31 July BEIS launched a £15mn fund to drive innovation in carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). The funding is open to projects that lead to a significant reduction in the cost of capturing and sequestering CO2 or a quicker, more widespread deployment of CCUS in the UK and internationally. Up to £5mn will be considered for feasibility studies, industrial research or experimental development projects and up to £7mn for research infrastructure that enables the UK to conduct “world-leading research and innovation” into CCUS.
The eligibility criteria for the funding includes reference to the:
- project location
- grant size
- project duration, and
- innovation and technology readiness.
BEIS has outlined the requirement for the project’s activities to be predominantly undertaken within the UK, with a minimum of 51% of the eligible costs to be based in the country. This is to meet key focuses of the fund, with BEIS aiming to “ensure the UK remains at the forefront of CCUS innovation”.
BEIS also noted that applications with a lower requested grant size would be more likely to score higher in the appraisal process. This is in order to stretch government funding so to maximise its impacts. Funding mainly focused into one project may otherwise fail at achieving progress in a wide range of CCUS techniques and risk poorly allocating public funds.
In order to draw the most from the funds in the short-term, BEIS has included the condition for projects to meet a minimum of Technology Readiness Level 3 and to last no longer than 24 months. This follows a current theme in environmental government funding opportunities, whereby results from funds are expected to be seen on short timescales. This is due to pressures in meeting environmental targets, especially with CCUS, as deadlines from the Paris Agreement creep ever closer.
Applications are invited by 11 November with funding to be granted by March 2019.