Government dishes out £24.5m to green energy innovations

Windows that double-up as solar panels, Europe's biggest battery, and a sustainable alternative to fracking are all among the technologies that have won a share of a £24.5m innovation fund from the UK Government.

In total, 40 projects received a share of InnovateUK’s Energy Catalyst fund, which aims to tackle the so-called energy ‘trilemma’ of reducing carbon emissions, increasing security of supply and cutting costs. 

Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The projects we are backing, through the Energy Catalyst, demonstrate the depth and breadth of British innovation in the sector. Many of these projects are not only UK firsts, but world firsts, and by supporting them at this early stage, we will ensure the UK reaps the rewards in the future.

“By funding this research we are not only working towards our goal of reducing carbon emissions, but fostering an environment that will create jobs, grow business and maintain the UK’s position at the cutting edge of technological advancement.”


Among the winners is Oaktec – founded by two former TVR engineers – which has built the Pulse-R engine system, which can use the untreated gas from landfill sites to power a self-supercharged biogas engine.

Cambridge-based Nyak Technology has been awarded almost £200,000 to help develop an organic solar cell that could eventually replace the windows in our homes. Early research suggests that these cells could reduce the overall cost of solar devices by as much as 70%.

Another project looks to connect a 10MW Lithium Ion battery array to Northern Ireland’s grid to monitor the value of storage in providing flexible services. It would be the largest and only transmission connected battery of its kind in the whole of Europe.

Pushing boundaries

Earlier this week, Innovate UK – the government-funded innovation agency – offered £10m to help fund the development of a new high-voltage battery pack for the next generation of ultra-low emission vehicles.

The UK has seen over £1bn investment allocated to low-carbon innovation through major public sector funders since 2011, helping the UK rank second in the Global Innovation Index by Cornell University last year.

Innovation Zone at Sustainability Live 2015 

For the first time, edie will be hosting an Innovation Zone at Sustainability Live 2015 to showcase the best emerging, pre-commercialised sustainability solutions.  

We are looking for emerging products, technologies and solutions in the energy, waste, water and cleantech space which are yet to be commercialised but have reached trial or prototype stage.  

Find out more about the new Innovation Zone here and register to attend Sustainability Live 2015 for FREE here.  

Brad Allen

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