BEIS commits £28m to energy innovation

As part of its commitment to reduce industrial energy costs and decarbonise the UK economy, Government has committed £28m to energy innovation projects.

The new £28m fund will be dedicated to encouraging progress in smart systems, industrial energy reduction and offshore wind, explained Nick Hurd, minister for climate change and industry at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Up to £9m from within this fund will be set aside for a competition to reduce the cost of energy storage technologies while £600,000 will be allocated to feasibility studies for projects that can store energy on a large scale. Up to £7.6m will be available for advancing energy demand side response.

Commenting on the new funding, Hurd said: “Innovation in energy will play an important role to shape our low carbon future to rebuild an outdated energy system. That’s why we’ve increased our financial support, helping to create jobs and opportunities for people across the UK.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) was quick to welcome the new funding. However, with regards to energy storage, it said that while funding will support growth, major policy barriers still remain before the deployment of grid-scale storage. It urged Government to address these barriers in a “timely manner”.

The energy innovation funding announcement follows the launch of a consultation on the Government’s new Industrial Strategy on Monday in which the Government set out its intention to cut business energy costs in the UK, while maintaining commitment to clean energy sources.

The paper also proposed that a £4.7bn Industrial Challenge Fund should be set up to accelerate the commercialisation smart energy technologies as well as robotics, artificial intelligence and 5G mobile networks. 

Hurd said that the recently released Industrial Strategy Green Paper “seeks views on how we can support these emerging technologies, ensuring we drive growth and develop international partnerships across our world leading research, science and innovation sector.”

Jane Gray

This article first appeared in edie’s sistle title Utility Week

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