Guidance

Funding for innovative smart energy systems

Government funding for innovation in smart energy systems and technologies

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.

Smart meter-enabled tariffs comparison project: Smarter Tariffs – Smarter Comparisons - closed

This project is to develop tools to demonstrate how smart tariffs, including export, electric vehicle and time of use tariffs, can be compared by consumers.

Smart meter-enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging trial: Beyond Off Street - closed

Beyond Off Street is a government initiative to promote innovation and demonstrate how smart meters can offer a long-term solution for smart EV charging.

Smart Energy Savings (SENS) competition - closed

The SENS competition aims to develop and trial innovative feedback products and services that use smart meter data, to help domestic customers reduce their energy consumption.
Competition now closed.

FleX competition - closed

The FleX competition will support the development and demonstration of innovative solutions to value and trade flexibility.
Competition now closed

Storage at Scale competition - closed

Funding for demonstrating innovative large scale energy storage.
Competition now closed

Electricity storage health and safety standards gap analysis - closed

Funding for a gap analysis of the health and safety standards for electricity storage technologies that are at or near deployment (not including pumped hydro).
Competition now closed

Participation of low income and vulnerable consumers in a smart energy system: Project InvoLVe - closed

This project will identify how future innovation can enable low income and vulnerable consumers to increasingly benefit from a smart energy system.

Power Forward Challenge: funding for UK / Canada joint challenge on smart energy systems innovation

As electric vehicles, smart devices, storage systems, remote connectivity and the like become more commonplace, the demands placed on our electricity grids are highly complex and very different from when they were built.

Through the Power Forward Challenge, the UK and Canada are jointly offering over £11 million to develop the best smart energy systems, including grids and storage, for the needs of the 21st Century, supporting the UK Industrial Strategy Clean Growth Grand Challenge around smart systems for the future.

The Challenge is looking for innovators from any sector who can bring disruptive technologies or new thinking to develop clean, robust and flexible power grids and energy systems that anticipate and meet the needs of networks around the world, looking ahead to 2030 and beyond.

Funding opportunity 1: Feasibility study development - open to SMEs

BEIS will fund selected UK SMEs for participation support, and the Canadian government will fund the selected Canadian enterprises. UK SMEs can apply for up to £60,000 SME participation support for feasibility study development.

Funding opportunity 2: Pilot-scale demonstration proposals - open to companies and other organisations

BEIS will fund the selected UK-based demonstration projects and the Canadian government will fund the demonstration projects located in Canada. Project teams applying for support for demonstration projects must involve organisations from both the UK and Canada. The project teams can apply for funding contribution of up to £1.8 million per project for demonstration projects located in the UK.

Reports

The Market Information Reports below provide a high-level overview of the UK/Canada energy systems for any UK/Canada organisation looking to participate in the challenge. The objective of these reports is to provide a 360-degree view of the UK and Canadian electricity market for UK and Canadian energy companies in support of the Power Forward Challenge.

Market information report: UK

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Market information report: Canada

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Event

We held an information event on 17 October 2018 at Telford in the UK. View the presentation:

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

Reflecting a shared interest in innovation to help to secure a smarter, efficient energy system, the UK and South Korean governments committed 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.

This competition is now closed to applications. The 3 projects which have secured funding in the competition are:

  • DROPLET (Demand Response using Off-peak Power for Liquefied air Energy storage Technologies) – led in the UK by Doosan Babcock Ltd
  • Energy Flexibility via V2G Gamification – led in the UK by Grid Duck
  • Project Artemis (flexibility trading platform) – led in the UK by Electron

All projects are expected to be completed and to disseminate learning by March 2021.

Selected projects - summary information

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Full details of the competition:

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

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Funding for non-domestic smart energy management

The government has committed 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 (NDSEMIC) aims 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.

All the details of this competition are available on the Non-Domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition page.

Funding for innovative domestic Demand Side Response demonstrations

The government has committed up to £9.78 million from 2018 to 2021 to support innovative domestic applications of Demand Side Response (DSR) technologies and business models. This grant competition has supported 20 feasibility studies (Phase 1) and up to 14 demonstration projects (Phase 2) in domestic settings. These projects are looking for innovative, scalable and replicable solutions which could provide reliable domestic demand side response using a range of approaches, which involve storage heaters, decarbonisation of heat and business models with novel usage of flexible demand.

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

BEIS Innovative Domestic DSR Competition – Phase 1 summary project details

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Details of the projects supported in Phase 1 of this Competition are set out in the following document:

Full details about the competition are set out in the Competition Guidance Notes.

Domestic DSR competition guidance notes

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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 of the projects supported by this competition:

BEIS Flexibility Markets Feasibility Study Competition – summary project details

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

Flexibility markets feasibility study competition: competition guidance notes

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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:

Innovation in Vehicle-to-Grid V2G Systems - Feasibility Studies - Competition Results

Innovation in Vehicle-to-Grid V2G Systems - CR D - Competition Results

Innovation in Vehicle-To-Grid V2G Systems - Real-World Demonstrators -Competition Results

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 of the projects supported by this competition:

BEIS Energy Storage Cost Reduction Competition – summary project details

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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

Details of the Phase 2 projects supported by this competition:

BEIS Innovative Non Domestic DSR Competition – summary project details

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

Innovative non domestic demand side response competition guidance notes

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Published 25 January 2017
Last updated 28 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added details and winning bid for Project InvoLVe.

  2. Added electricity storage health and safety standards gap analysis funding (now closed).

  3. Added Smarter tariffs - smarter comparisons project (now closed).

  4. Added link to new initiative: Smart meter-enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging trial - Beyond Off Street

  5. Power Forward Challenge - summary of pilot scale demonstration projects added.

  6. In section: Funding for innovative domestic Demand Side Response demonstrations, we've updated funding information and competition details, as well as added Phase 2 summary project details. In section: Power Forward Challenge, we've updated details of the SMEs supported as part of this Challenge.

  7. Link to Smart Energy Savings (SENS) competition added.

  8. Latest FleX and Storage at Scale competitions added

  9. Power forward: UK / Canada Market Reports added

  10. UK / Canada Smart Energy Systems Challenge now open to applications / South Korea Collaboration Competition winners announced

  11. Updates to competitions

  12. Information added about UK/Canada opportunity for a joint challenge on smart grids and energy storage.

  13. UK/South Korea bilateral collaboration competition deadlines extended.

  14. UK / South Korea bilateral collaboration on smart energy innovation: competition guidance notes and application form published

  15. Added information on funding for UK/South Korea bilateral collaboration on smart energy innovation.

  16. Link to new Non-domestic Smart Energy Management Innovation Competition added

  17. Funding for innovative domestic demand side response demonstrations.

  18. Updates from Clean Growth Strategy.

  19. Published details of a new competition; Funding for flexibility markets feasibility studies.

  20. Details of latest competition announced 10 July 2017

  21. Forms added for the feasibility study and cost reduction competitions. New documents added on non-domestic demand side response demonstrations.

  22. Change of dates for application

  23. First published.