Press release

£102 million to make UK prosper from the energy revolution

The launch of a £102 million investment programme in new local energy approaches has been completed today with the announcement of a new research consortium.

A modern house fitted with solar panels
The £102.5 million investment for the prospering from the energy revolution challenge is part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

The development of a network of the best UK research and expertise in energy from right across the research disciplines, completes the launch of the £102.5 million prospering from the energy revolution challenge, which is 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 research consortium competition builds on a series of announcements in recent weeks that detail how the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is developing cutting-edge capabilities in local systems that deliver cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy for consumers; which include:

Smart local energy systems demonstrators and designs

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.

Innovation accelerator fund

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.

Research and integration services

A world-leading, 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.

The prospering from the energy revolution challenge will bring together businesses working with the best research and expertise to transform the way energy is delivered and used.

Together they will develop and demonstrate new approaches to provide cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy services. This includes providing energy in ways that consumers want by linking low-carbon power, heating and transport systems with energy storage and advanced IT to create intelligent, local energy systems and services.

Further funding to make up the rest of the challenge will be announced in future financial years.

The funding will be awarded competitively by UK Research and Innovation, the new organisation that brings together the UK research councils, Innovate UK and Research England into a single organisation to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Notes for editors

For more information, contact pressoffice@innovateuk.ukri.org or 07766 901150

UK Research and Innovation launches Energy Revolution Research Consortium call

In collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Knowledge Transfer Network, UK Research and Innovation is hosting a consortium-building workshop in Birmingham on 9 and 10 July 2018.

More details here: https://epsrc.ukri.org/newsevents/news/energyrevolutionresearchconsortium/

About the prospering from the energy revolution challenge

  • smart systems can link energy supply, storage, and demand patterns across power, heating and transport to dramatically improve efficiency
  • new smart energy systems will be able to take advantage of some of the $2 trillion a year that will be invested in global energy infrastructure over the next decades
  • the scope of this challenge is to provide solutions that integrate multiple technologies, infrastructures and market, finance and societal systems in real-world settings to create investable and scale-able models for the future
  • this will create new high-value local jobs across the country, and export business associated with design, testing, finance, installation, and operation of new energy products, systems and services
  • the novel approach in this programme is to undertake whole-system approaches at scale in real-world settings. Government support is needed to coordinate a very complex stakeholder and technology landscape
  • the winning projects will bring together the latest low carbon power, transport and heating, with storage and smart systems using advanced IT to create intelligent local energy systems and services that cut bills, improve system efficiency, reduce the need for expensive new infrastructure and create high-value local jobs

About the Industrial Strategy

  • the Industrial Strategy sets out the government’s plan to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future
  • the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the Industrial Strategy, bringing together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time

About UK Research and Innovation

  • operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England
  • we are an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, both to government and internationally, we are supported and challenged by an independent chair and board
  • we are principally funded through the science budget by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Published 23 May 2018