Government backs batteries and AI to crack smart grid conundrum

Clark: battery storage can decarbonise energy and transport
Clark: Recognises role of batteries in decarbonising power system.

The department for business, energy & industrial strategy (BEIS) will spend some £340m on smart energy technology development over the next four years.

Under the £1bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, £246m is allocated to smart energy technologies, such as batteries. A further £93m is allocated to artificial intelligence development, with energy applications for AI high on the government’s list of priorities.

“Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund we will provide an enormous boost to our world-class research and development sector, to help turn brilliant British innovations into new businesses and good jobs,” said BEIS secretary of state Greg Clark.

Clark has previously called for the energy and automotive sectors to collaborate on battery technology, which could be key to accommodating a power system increasingly reliant on intermittent renewable generators.

Meanwhile, small companies have also been urged to apply for smart energy technology grants.

Under Innovate UK’s investment accelerator pilot, some £4.25m in public/private funding is available for early stage projects in smart infrastructure, energy, urban living and connected transport.

The deadline for applications is 28 June.

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