AI for the low-carbon transition: UK Government funds additional innovations

A dozen initiatives using artificial intelligence (AI) to slash emissions have received a share of UK Government funding, and Ministers are more than doubling the funding pot for the next round of the competition.

AI for the low-carbon transition: UK Government funds additional innovations

A competition offering £1m to innovative decarbonisation-related workstreams in the AI space was opened by the UK Government late last year. Today (15 August), the successful projects have been named.

Among them projects that could make solar energy generation more efficient, a scheme that could make dairy farming more efficient using robotics, and a project developing a more efficient computer that would reduce the energy consumption associated with AI itself.

All in all, 12 projects have split £1m of funding from the Government’s £1bn Net-Zero Innovation Portfolio, which has been operating since early 2021.

Ministers have elected to allocate £2.25m to support innovations through the next phase of the AI for Decarbonisation Programme. Applications will be taken until 10 October. The programme is open to energy firms, software developers and other innovators, including university-led projects. Click here for full details.

Separately, the Government’s Digital Catapult agency has outlined plans to spend up to £500,000 to launch the UK’s first Centre for Excellence focusing on the potential of AI for driving the net-zero transition.

Digital Catapult chief Dr Jeremy Silver said the centre is “perfectly placed to forge collaborations between the technology community and some of our most carbon intensive sectors”.

Precedence Research stated last year that the global market for AI in renewables is set to grow by more than one-quarter each year through to 2030, reaching almost $76bn by the end of the decade. Applications include optimising generation, easing planning and improving the traceability of energy generation origin.

Related article: Google’s Adam Elman on how AI can help to accelerate the energy transition

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie