A new initiative supporting R&D projects focused on generating energy locally has been launched today by the UK’s Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.
The funding will be made available through a competition awarding the most innovative ideas in the field of localised energy systems. Such systems should be able to supply energy to units from as small as clusters of houses up to whole districts.
The goal of the initiative is to use renewable resources in places of high demand to reduce the strain placed on the national grid, balance energy supply and demand and integrate electric vehicles or easy charging systems into buildings.
“Energy and its storage is one of the eight great technologies of the future where the UK has world leading research and the potential to seize a significant share of growing global markets,” said Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.
“This funding will enable innovative companies to bring their ideas into reality. This will help the UK to move to a low-carbon economy, drive growth and get ahead in the global race.”
Jointly funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the competition for collaborative R&D funding will allow businesses to develop new products, services, and solutions in and across the energy, built environment, transport and digital sectors. It will enable them to enter the UK smart energy systems market, estimated to be worth some £3-5bn by 2020.
“The development of localised energy systems is an important part of what will be a complex mix of technologies for generating, transmitting, distributing and storing energy, as we continue the transition to a low carbon economy in the coming decades,” said Iain Gray, CEO of the Technology Strategy Board.
“This funding competition is therefore critical, not only in developing the individual technologies, but also in developing solutions to how technologies are integrated to deliver robust, flexible and cost-effective systems."