The Industrial Strategy green paper highlights the government’s commitment to minimise business energy costs and support the competitiveness of UK companies as it pursues UK climate change targets in the most cost effective way. The funding was announced by Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry Nick Hurd attending the Rushlight Awards. It covers a series of energy innovation projects and will be invested in smart systems, industrial energy reduction and offshore wind. This forms part of the government’s commitment to double support for energy innovation, up to £400 million per year in 2021.
The green paper concedes that the UK needs to do more to commercialise world-class British ideas and discoveries, putting the country and British companies at the forefront of innovation.
“Innovation in energy will play an important role to shape our low carbon future to rebuild an outdated energy system” said Mr Hurd. “That’s why we’ve increased our financial support, helping to create jobs and opportunities for people across the UK. Our 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.”
Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association (STA) added that the strong political support for storage in this strategy is warmly welcome.
Under the new investment, up to £9 million will be spent on a competition to reduce the cost of energy storage, including electricity, thermal, and power-to-gas storage and up to £600,000 for feasibility studies for projects that can store energy on a large scale, for use when it’s needed.
Up to £7.6 million will be available for advancing energy demand side response technologies that can help both private and public sector organisations reduce energy use in peak times.
To reduce the cost of energy for industry, the government will invest around £9 million in a competition for ‘industrial energy efficiency accelerator’. The competition would help to find new ways of improving the energy efficiency of UK industry, helping to develop industry-specific options for a low carbon future.
The announcement reaffirms the Government’s financial support to the sector after the investment of £2 billion a year by 2020-21 in research and development and £23 billion in high value investment through National Productivity Investment Fund was introduced at the Autumn Statement. The funds will address the key economic challenge of raising business productivity, helping to support business and research collaborations to explore opportunities to transform industries.
For additional information:
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)