Government boosts low carbon technology with £21m funding

The Government has awarded £21m of funding to help bring a range of new and innovative low carbon products to market, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced today.

Split into three sections – the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, Energy Storage competitions and Advanced Heat Storage scheme – the funding is designed to spur on innovation in the low carbon sector, helping to support jobs and create export opportunities.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “This new investment will give these organisations the boost they need to drive forward the development of a range of innovative low carbon designs, helping cut costs and bring new technologies to market in this sector.

“Innovation is vital for the move towards a low carbon economy and it’s great to see so many entrepreneurs rising to the challenge.”

Under the first phase of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, 30 projects have been awarded a share of up to £16m.

The funding is part of a £35m fund announced in April 2012, and aims to support energy efficiency technologies such as building control systems, advanced lighting systems and space heating and cooling technologies, alongside power generation and energy storage technologies.

Sixteen organisations have been awarded a share of £2m to help develop innovative storage solutions for energy.

This is part of the first phase of the UK’s £20m Energy Storage Competition and has been welcomed by the Electricity Storage Network (ESN), who has also called for the Government and industry to rally behind a target to install 2GW of energy storage by 2020.

ESN director Anthony Price said: “While this UK competition is a step in the right direction, we need a strong commitment from Government to enable the UK to build and lead the energy storage market.

“Despite previous assurances that energy storage is a vital part of the low carbon economy, we have yet to see a policy pathway that delivers adequate storage capacity to keep the lights on now, and to capitalise on new low carbon technologies in the future.”

The ESN has estimated that the UK could save £3bn a year if it reaches its 2GW target by 2020.

The remaining £3m of funding was apportioned to entrepreneurs aiming to drive forward innovation and cut costs in the advanced heat storage field.

Conor McGlone

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