The announcement of a new energy revolution research consortium completes the UK’s £102 million investment into new local energy, part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy
The energy revolution research consortium will deliver a suite of strategic research projects that address industry- led challenges in the development of local, investable, consumer-centred energy approaches to create prosperous clean energy communities.
Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Sir Mark Walport said:
“Clean and affordable energy is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and one that affects us all.
“The energy revolution challenge will address this societal and environmental need by unlocking the potential of world-class research and innovation.
“It will create the new commercial solutions that benefit consumers through reduced bills, that drive economic growth through new businesses and high-value jobs, and do this at a reduced environmental cost.
“Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we are tackling major industrial and societal challenges and supporting the UK to become an even stronger knowledge-driven economy.”
The news of the research consortium, follows a series of announcements that detailed how the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is developing innovative capabilities in local systems to deliver cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy for consumers.
The systems will include:
- The fast-track creation of up to 3 practical local energy systems demonstrators and a range of whole-system design studies, which could be ready for new consumer energy systems in the 2020s.
- The practical demonstrators will build supply chain capabilities, deliver positive changes for energy consumers, and inform future projects. The design studies will create a pipeline of investable projects for the future.
- The innovation accelerator fund will develop and commercialise smart local energy system products and services, and help UK business and researchers engage with the best international innovation opportunities.
An additional inter-disciplinary research programme will be commissioned to work alongside the Energy Systems Catapult.
The programme will provide coordination and technical support to demonstration and design projects.
Rob Saunders, Interim Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, said:
“This is an exciting time for energy innovations. The convergence of new technologies with artificial intelligence, big data, and the internet of things promises a new energy future.
“This future will be one of lower carbon and more efficient energy supply, distribution and storage, giving consumers more control. This energy revolution – a crucial part of the Industrial Strategy – has the potential to unlock investment, create high-quality jobs all over the country and grow companies capable of exporting.”
Further funding to make up the rest of the challenge will be announced in future financial years.