According to the UK Treasury, the funding will be made available over a five-year period starting from 2025. In addition to the £2 billion for the car industry, £975 million has been earmarked for the aerospace sector and £960 million for clean energy technologies. The UK’s first battery strategy is also due to be unveiled later this week.
Similarly to the US and EU investment programmes, the UK aims to enable the UK to take advantage of growth opportunities arising from the transition to a carbon-free energy supply. To do this, the government wants to build on the UK’s “world-leading track record on decarbonization and its strong proposition for deploying the technology”. The UK continues to lead the way in reducing emissions, having “reduced its emissions faster than any other G7 country since 1990” and set out clear plans to meet all climate targets and ensure energy security.
Along with the funding amount, the government is publicizing a number of other measures and analyses. For example, a program called “Made Smarter Adoption” is being launched specifically for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies to help them with the transition. The program is intended to support companies in the use of advanced digital technologies.
In addition, the government has initiated a hydrogen industry taskforce to work with the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative and Innovate UK to maximize investment opportunities for the UK’s manufacturing of hydrogen propulsion systems.
The UK also wants to become active in setting industry standards to promote innovation and growth in manufacturing. One example cited is the widespread use of so-called digital twins, which enable companies to create exact digital replicas of their entire production process. There are now also many proponents of this approach in the battery and automotive industries.
“The UK is a global hub for advanced manufacturing, with world-leading automotive, aerospace and maritime sectors,” said Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, adding: “This package builds on recent investment wins, such as the £4 billion gigafactory, and the £600m invested to build the next generation of electric Minis, and ensures that the government can continue to help create jobs, grow the economy, and secure the future of great British manufacturing.”
Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Claire Coutinho chimed in: “While we’ve already attracted £200 billion in low carbon investment since 2010, with another £100 billion expected by 2030, this will unlock even more.”