Up to £11m will be made available to fund ideas for the development of localised energy systems. These can range from clusters of buildings up to whole districts.
According to Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, the aim is to "revolutionise the way energy is generated, distributed and stored, by supporting R&D projects focused on bringing energy generation and supply down to a local level".
The market for smart energy systems to UK companies estimated to be worth £3-5bn by 2020.
This breaks down into three areas:
• integrating renewable energy supplies in places of high demand to reduce the need to reinforce the national grid
• balancing energy supply and demand
• integrating electric vehicle or easy charging systems into buildings
“Energy and its storage is one of the eight great technologies of the future where the UK has world leading research and the potential to seize a significant share of growing global markets," said Willetts.
“This funding will enable innovative companies to bring their ideas into reality. This will help the UK to move to a low-carbon economy, drive growth and get ahead in the global race,” said Willetts.
Jointly funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) , this competition for collaborative R&D funding will allow businesses to develop new products, services, and solutions in and across the energy, built environment, transport and digital sectors.
“The development of localised energy systems is an important part of what will be a complex mix of technologies for generating, transmitting, distributing and storing energy, as we continue the transition to a low carbon economy in the coming decades. This funding competition is therefore critical," said CEO of the Technology Strategy Board, Iain Gray.