The UK government will support British industries—including the construction, mining, and quarrying sectors—with funding of $40.2 million (£32.5 million) to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
The funding, announced on Friday, will support the development of clean alternatives to oil products to power operations and help industry cut emissions and energy costs, the UK government said.
The funds will go toward developing alternatives to red diesel, or gas oil, such as electrification and green hydrogen, and are the government’s latest step in “driving industrial energy independence and encouraging green investment across the country.”
The new UK funding will help industries move away from using gas oil, which is a type of fossil fuel commonly used for off-road, heavy-duty vehicles and machinery, such as bulldozers and cranes. The funding of the development of clean alternatives is also expected to help to cut industry emissions and energy costs, the government said.
The UK has a net-zero emissions target by 2050, which is enshrined in law, and was the first major economy to pass such as law, in 2019.
On the other hand, energy-intensive industries dependent on natural gas and oil products for operations and production have seen their energy costs soar over the past year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked a rally in energy commodities and power prices.
“These industrial sectors, and the jobs they create, are crucial to our economy, and they also have an important role to play in our shift towards a greener, more secure future,” said Minister for Energy and Climate Change Graham Stuart.
Industries suffered from soaring energy costs last year, and despite some government support, they may have to announce further curtailment in production. For example, soaring energy bills threaten to collapse the UK’s ceramics industry. The industrial area around Stoke-on-Trent has seen difficulties over the past year, and some companies have had to close shop due to unbearable costs.