The government has announced £20 million for electric vehicle (EV) innovation and £92 million for technologies such as energy storage and floating wind.
The £92 million comes as part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio and is designed to enable green innovators to drive forward the next generation of technologies that can support the energy transition.
It was first announced in last week’s Budget, with more detail now revealed. As part of the funding, three new innovation challenges have been launched into energy storage, floating offshore wind and biomass. Energy storage has scooped up £68 million of this, while £20 million has been set aside for floating offshore wind and £4 million for sustainably sourced biomass.
When it comes to floating wind, the government outlined how innovative technologies could include advancing what it described as “vital components” such as dynamic high voltage cable systems, moorings for challenging seabed conditions and foundations.
For biomass, new innovations were listed as those that would help scale up sustainably sourced biomass feedstocks and the production of low-cost and low-maintenance crops grown solely for green energy production, as well as helping to achieve improvements in yields, cost reductions and profitability.
This competition is now open, while the energy storage and floating offshore wind competitions are to open in spring.
It is hoped that the three competitions will help reduce the costs of deploying new technologies across the energy sector while supporting thousands of highly-skills jobs across the UK and grow the economy.
Meanwhile, a further £20 million research and development competition was announced for EV projects, with eligible technologies including zero emission emergency vehicles, charging technology or EV battery recycling.
It comes as the government also today (10 March) confirmed that the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will come into play in 2030 in its published response to its consultation on the date.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the new funding will help to “harness some of the brightest talent in the UK tech industry”, which will encourage businesses to become “global leaders in EV innovation”.
Previous winners of the competition include tech start-up Urban Foresight, which was given £3 million to develop pop-up chargers, as well as a zero emission ambulance prototype for London Ambulance Service designed by ULEMCo.
The government said the additional funding will help ensure the UK “remains a world leader in EV design and manufacture”, continuing to state that this could create around 6,000 skilled jobs over the next decade.