Guidance

Funding for innovative smart energy systems

Government funding for innovation in smart energy systems and technologies

A commitment to smart energy

Enabling a smarter, more efficient energy system is a priority for government and in the Upgrading our energy system: smart systems and flexibility plan published in July 2017, the government committed up to £70 million to smart energy system innovation.

Across government, Innovate UK, Research Councils, and BEIS expect to invest around £265 million in smart systems research, development, and demonstration.

As part of this commitment, within the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS expects to invest up to £70 million in the smart energy systems innovation theme.

UK / Canada joint challenge on smart grids and energy storage

The UK and Canada are exploring opportunities for a joint challenge on smart grids and energy storage, totalling just over £11 million (Canadian $20 million) which will support the delivery of the UK’s Industrial Strategy’s Clean Growth Grand Challenge around smart systems for the future.

Read the press release

The Smart Energy Systems challenge will support innovative smart grid and storage projects that could support more flexible energy systems.

As we transition to low carbon economies, a lot more will be expected from our energy networks to support other energy intensive sectors such as transportation, industry and heating. Renewable energy such as wind and solar will play an increasingly important role in meeting growing demand for energy. However, existing systems and infrastructure are unable to effectively integrate increasingly distributed sources of renewable energy.

This challenge will look to enhance the flexibility of our grid infrastructure in anticipation of growing levels of distributed energy and smart devices plugging into the grid. These sources may include electric vehicles, smart homes, and distributed energy sources such as solar and storage.

To identify priority barriers and define “what success looks like”, our team is reaching out to stakeholders across the United Kingdom and Canada’s smart grid community to co-create a Smart Energy Systems Challenge.

If you would like further communication and engagement, please add your details here:

Canada-UK Smart Energy Systems Challenge – Stakeholder Engagement

If you have previously completed this survey, you don’t need to share your details again.

Funding for UK/South Korea bilateral collaboration on smart energy innovation

Reflecting a shared interest in innovation to help to secure a smarter, efficient energy system, the UK and South Korean governments are committing up to about £6 million in total, from 2018 to 2021, to deliver a bilateral competition on smart energy innovation. This innovation collaboration, announced by the Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry on 25 January 2018, is expected to help secure cost savings in the energy system by accelerating the speed and extent of deployment of smart, flexible energy system solutions as well as securing increased market knowledge and access in South Korea for UK companies.

The competition will provide grant funding to companies and other organisations for the development and demonstration of smart energy technologies and services. Projects supported by this competition could include:

  • energy storage
  • demand-side response
  • vehicle-to-grid technologies
  • system integration
  • flexibility trading models

Each project team selected for innovation support will involve organisations based in the UK and South Korea. BEIS will fund the UK partners in each winning project team and the South Korean government will fund the South Korean partners. UK partners will be able to bid for a share of up to £3 million innovation funding through this competition.

For more information or to register an interest in this competition, please email smart.innovation@beis.gov.uk.

Deadlines

Revised registration deadline: 17.00, Wed 9 May 2018

Revised proposal submission deadline: 17.00, Wed 16 May 2018

Full detail about the competition available in the guidance notes:

UK-South Korea Smart Energy Innovation Collaboration: competition guidance notes

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UK-South Korea Smart Energy Innovation Collaboration: competition application form

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UK-South Korea Smart Energy Innovation Collaboration competition: finance form

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Funding for non-domestic smart energy management

The government is planning to commit up to £8.8 million to develop innovative approaches to energy management using smart meter data, tailored to the needs of smaller non-domestic sites.

The Non-Domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition will aim to drive innovation in the energy services market in 3 priority non-domestic sectors (hospitality, retail, schools). It will help such non-domestic organisations cut their energy costs and be more energy efficient, enabling them to boost productivity and contribute to UK emissions reduction targets. It will also develop and strengthen the market for energy management products and services for smaller non-domestic sites, including both independent businesses and chains.

Up to 9 projects, distributed across these 3 sectors, will be selected to receive initial funding to develop innovative energy management solutions using smart meter data.

Details about the competition are set out in the Competition Brief.

This competition is supported by the findings of a major primary research project conducted over 2015 and 2016, which used a qualitative, cluster-based approach to identify the barriers and enablers to smart energy management in a variety of non-domestic premises. The design of the competition was also informed by an expert workshop convened by BEIS in March 2017.

Funding for innovative domestic Demand Side Response demonstrations

The government is committing up to £7.75 million from 2018 to 2021 to support innovative domestic applications of Demand Side Response (DSR) technologies and business models. This grant competition will support up to 30 feasibility studies (Phase 1) and 10 demonstration projects (Phase 2) in domestic settings. We are looking for innovative, scalable and replicable solutions which could provide reliable domestic demand side response using a range of approaches, which could involve storage heaters, decarbonisation of heat and business models with novel usage of flexible demand.

This competition will be delivered in two phases. In Phase 1, grants of up to £30,000 will be awarded for 10 week feasibility studies. In Phase 2 grants of between £250,000 and £1 million will be awarded for demonstration projects, to be completed by 31 December 2020.

Full details about the competition, including how to apply, are set out in the Competition Guidance Notes.

Domestic DSR competition guidance notes

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To apply for this competition, you must register by 5pm, 8 February 2018. Completed application form along with the finance form must be submitted by 5pm, 15 February 2018.

Domestic DSR competition application form

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Domestic DSR competition finance form

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For more information, please email smart.innovation@beis.gov.uk

Research on Realising the Potential of Demand Side Response

Research was commissioned by BEIS into realising the potential of DSR to 2025 to improve the evidence base on the potential of small-scale DSR and inform policy development targeted at a smarter energy system. The research uses an evidence review (a Rapid Evidence Assessment) and country case studies, both covering four research areas: policy interventions, business strategies, DSR products and services, and consumer engagement and participation.

Research on realising potential of Demand Side Response: executive summary

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Research on realising potential of Demand Side Response: research report

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Research on reslising potential of Demand Side Response: case study

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Research on realising potential of Demand Side Response: reference document

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Research on realising potential of Demand Side Response: summary report

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Funding for flexibility markets feasibility studies

As part of the Upgrading our energy system: smart systems and flexibility plan, in July 2017, government launched a competition on local flexibility markets, committing up to £600,000 for feasibility studies about innovative approaches that can be used to value and trade flexibility in the UK electricity system. This competition is now closed for entrants. Details about competition winners will be announced here in due course.

Details about the competition are set out in the guidance notes:

Flexibility markets feasibility study competition: competition guidance notes

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For more information, please email smart.innovation@beis.gov.uk.

Funding for innovative electric vehicle-to-grid projects

In July 2017, government committed up to £20 million for innovative projects that develop future electric vehicle-to-grid products, services and knowledge. Details about competition winners will be announced here in due course.

Funding for energy storage cost reduction and feasibility studies

Government launched a competition with up to £9 million available to reduce the cost of energy storage technologies (including electricity storage, thermal storage, and power-to-gas technologies). This includes a further £600,000 to support feasibility studies for a potential first-of-a-kind, large-scale future storage demonstrator. This competition is now closed for entrants. Details about competition winners will be announced here in due course.

Grants have now been awarded for delivery of energy storage feasibility studies for large-scale future storage demonstrators. These initial feasibility studies are being led by the following organisations:

  • Cumulus Energy Storage Ltd;
  • Highview Enterprises Ltd;
  • ITM Power Trading Ltd;
  • SSE Renewables Developments UK Ltd

For more information, please email smart.innovation@beis.gov.uk.

Full details about the cost reduction competition, and the feasibility study are set out in the guidance notes here:

Energy storage cost reduction competition guidance notes

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Energy storage cost reduction competition feasibility study

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Funding for innovative non-domestic Demand Side Response demonstrations

Government committed up to £7.6 million for innovative demonstrations of energy demand side response technologies in UK businesses or public sector organisations to reduce their energy use in peak times and provide flexibility to the energy system. This competition is now closed for entrants.

Phase 1 contracts have now been awarded for delivery of feasibility studies for the innovative non-domestic demand side response demonstrators. These initial feasibility studies are being led by the following organisations:

  • DuckDuck Ltd;
  • Flexitricity Ltd;
  • Innovatium LLP;
  • Kiwi Power Ltd, and
  • Totem Sustainable Solutions Ltd

Further details about the winning projects will be announced here in due course.

Details about the competition are set out in the guidance notes here:

Innovative non domestic demand side response competition guidance notes

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Published 25 January 2017
Last updated 23 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Information added about UK/Canada opportunity for a joint challenge on smart grids and energy storage.
  2. UK/South Korea bilateral collaboration competition deadlines extended.
  3. UK / South Korea bilateral collaboration on smart energy innovation: competition guidance notes and application form published
  4. Added information on funding for UK/South Korea bilateral collaboration on smart energy innovation.
  5. Link to new Non-domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition added
  6. Funding for innovative domestic demand side response demonstrations.
  7. Updates from Clean Growth Strategy.
  8. Published details of a new competition; Funding for flexibility markets feasibility studies.
  9. Details of latest competition announced 10 July 2017
  10. Forms added for the feasibility study and cost reduction competitions. New documents added on non-domestic demand side response demonstrations.
  11. Change of dates for application
  12. First published.