UK government set aside £92 million for funding green technologies
The government has announced three major innovation challenges in key renewable energy sectors, including energy storage, floating offshore wind, and biomass production.
The government declared on Tuesday, March 9 that it would spend £92 million to help renewable innovators advance the next wave of technology that will aid the UK's transition to renewable, green energy and combat climate change.
Three new innovation challenges have been launched by the government in main areas of the renewable energy market, including energy storage technology, floating offshore wind, and biomass development.
These emerging challenges will aid in the development of innovative technologies that will lower the cost of installing them across the energy market, support thousands of high-skilled workers across the UK, expand the economy, and help the Prime Minister achieve his ten-point plan.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“The UK’s energy innovators have been vital to us becoming a world-leader in clean green technology, helping us to go further and faster as we tackle climate change.
“This funding will allow us to develop new ways of unlocking the potential for green energy as we continue making big strides towards our goal of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050.”
£68 million of the government's £92 million investment will go toward the development of energy storage technologies to support a future renewable energy system. These new developments will hasten the commercialisation of a first-of-its-kind storage system that can store energy from wind turbines and solar panels, as well as heat, for months or years until it is required by consumers.
Since the availability of energy from renewable sources can be irregular, efficient storage is critical for maintaining stable sustainable energy. Energy storage is expected to be one of the most important elements of a smarter, more flexible low-carbon energy infrastructure that maximizes the use of renewables.
The £20 million investment would fuel innovation that will unleash the full capacity of floating offshore wind energy along the UK coastline, enabling turbines to be installed in places where the seafloor is too deep for them to be embedded. When they are farther out to sea, wind capabilities are greater and more stable, bolstering the government's goal of using wind to power every home in the country by 2030.
Critical components such as complex high voltage cable systems, moorings for difficult seabed conditions, and foundations will all benefit from innovative technology.
Biomass initiatives will benefit from a £4 million government investment aimed at expanding the supply of sustainably sourced biomass in the UK, which will boost local economies, regional development, and job creation in rural areas.
Biomass is organic matter that can be used as a fuel in renewable energy production or to replace fossil fuel-derived products in other sectors of the economy. The Climate Change Committee has stated that renewable biomass will play a major role in achieving long-term climate goals, making it a critical part for the UK to fulfil its decarbonisation commitments.
New technologies would aid in the scaling up of sustainably sourced biomass feedstocks and the production of energy crops - low-cost, low-maintenance crops produced solely for green energy production, such as forestry - as well as helping to achieve improvements in yields, cost reductions and profitability.