Over £90m green technology funding for three new innovation challenges
The government has launched a scheme across three key green innovation areas - floating offshore wind, biomass and energy storage technology. The funding is part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
Green innovators are being urged to bid for funding to develop new energy technologies as the UK strives to build back greener. Innovators will drive the transition to clean, green energy and tackle climate change through three key challenges.
These innovations will in turn drive economic growth and high skilled jobs, reduce the costs of deployment across the energy sector and deliver on the Prime Minister’s 10 point action plan. This is designed to deliver a green industrial revolution, creating up to a quarter of a million jobs that will see Britain become a global leader in green technologies.
Floating offshore wind
£20 million of funding has been made available to unlock the full potential of offshore wind power. This will allow next generation wind turbines to be situated around the UK coast in areas where embedding turbines on the seafloor is too costly or impractical. These locations also tend to have stronger and more consistent winds and will be part of the commitment to power every home with wind energy by 2030.
Innovations could include moorings for challenging seabed conditions and advancing vital high voltage cable systems. Bids will formally open in spring 2021.
Another £4 million will be focused on sustainably sourced biomass, which will strengthen the economy and create jobs in rural areas. Organic matter can substitute for fossil fuels and is a key component of the decarbonisation of the economy. The Climate Change Committee has stated that biomass has a significant role to play in terms of meeting long term climate goals.
New innovations are expected to focus on scaling up sustainable 'energy crops' - low cost, low maintenance crops designed to meet the needs of green energy production. This competition is currently open for applications.
The bulk of the funding, £68 million, will be made available for innovations in energy storage to support a renewable energies future for the UK. Energy supply from renewable sources can be intermittent, making storage of critical importance for a greener future based on a low carbon and flexible energy system.
These new innovations are designed to speed up the commercialisation of storage for wind turbines and solar panels as well as heat over longer periods of time to meet consumer demand.
The energy storage innovation will be formally opened for bids in the spring of 2021.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that Britain’s energy innovators were vital to the country’s ability to go ‘further and faster’ in tackling climate change.
The funding is designed to develop new innovations in the way the country unlocks the future of green energy. The UK continues to make big strides towards its ambitious goals of eliminating its contribution to climate change by 2050. The UK has currently cut the portion of coal in the energy mix from 40% in 2012 to just 2% in 2020, but more work is left to be done to reach carbon net zero.