THE VISION

Project details

Drax Group, Equinor and National Grid Ventures signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2019, committing to work together to explore opportunities for creating a zero carbon cluster in the Humber. 

We set out to:

  • Explore the opportunity to scale-up the innovative bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project at the Drax Power Station in order to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s 
  • Explore the potential development of a large-scale hydrogen demonstrator within the Drax site by as early as the mid-2020s – in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation that hydrogen should be produced at scale in at least one industrial cluster by 2030
  • Explore the strategic opportunities in developing a cutting-edge hydrogen economy in the Humber region as well as Yorkshire and the North of England

Deliver CCUS at a transformative scale

The world's first negative emissions power station

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has emphasised the need to invest in and deploy carbon capture and negative emissions technology at scale in order to reach UK’s target of carbon neutrality by 2050. The CCC’s Net Zero report also identified that at least one of the UK’s CCUS regional clusters should involve substantial production of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030 to stay ‘on track’ for net zero.

Zero Carbon Humber plans to capture carbon dioxide at scale from industry around the estuary via pipelines that transport the emissions to permanent storage in naturally occurring aquifers under the southern North Sea. 

The capture technology is already under development at Drax Power Station’s pioneering bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot, which could be scaled up to create the world’s first carbon negative power station in the 2020s. Similarly, Equinor has been operating CCS projects since the 1990s.

Capturing carbon dioxide from biomass generation at Drax Power Station

Establish a hydrogen economy in the Humber and the wider region

A large-scale hydrogen demonstrator

The production of hydrogen at a large scale is a key component in decarbonising the region as it offers a low or zero carbon fuel that can be applied to power, transport, heating and even serve as energy storage.

The CCC has highlighted the importance of hydrogen, recommending that it can be produced at scale in at least one industrial cluster by 2030.

Equinor has been playing a key role in looking at how a hydrogen economy could be developed in H21 North of England project. Zero Carbon Humber envisages a hydrogen demonstrator project within the Drax site being up and running as early as the mid-2020s.

Producing low carbon hydrogen fuel

Build a globally competitive industrial cluster

A global leader in decarbonisation

In developing BECCS and the world’s first negative emissions power station, a hydrogen economy and large-scale carbon storage across the Humber estuary, Zero Carbon Humber will establish the wider region as a global leader in decarbonisation.

In addition to the jobs and clean growth it offers the region it will also develop skills, knowledge and technology than can be exported around the world – putting the Humber estuary and wider region at the centre of a global decarbonisation economy.

Zero Carbon Humber projects timeline