The funding has been awarded to a partnership between Viridor Waste Management Ltd and Highview Power Storage, as part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s innovation competition to support energy storage technology research and development.

According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the two companies will use the funding to develop a technology to store air in a liquid format, which can then be used to supply electricity at times of high demand.

The technology will be connected to the National Grid, and will be used to test balancing supply and demand using stored energy.

Announcing the funding, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Storing energy will become increasingly important in the move towards a low carbon economy, and has the potential to save the energy system over £4bn by 2050.

“Energy storage systems are potentially revolutionary technologies – just imagine how much the energy system will change if we’re able to manage supply and demand better by storing energy cost-effectively, not to mention the benefits for British research and manufacturing industries.”

Viridor chief executive, Ian McAulay added: “With ever growing pressure on natural resources, it is essential that we develop innovative and sustainable methods to generate and store energy not only to cut down our carbon footprint but to ensure long-term energy security”.

In 2012, Chancellor George Osborne said urgent action was needed to ensure the UK establishes itself as an international focus for energy storage research and innovation.

Osborne stressed the need to find better ways to store the nation’s electricity adding that a greater capability is crucial for power sources, such as electric car batteries, to be viable.

Leigh Stringer

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