Net Zero projects secure £7.6 million to speed emissions cuts


Three collaborative R&D projects have been awarded funding from innovation agency Innovate UK to transform how Britain’s buildings are heated.

The body’s Net Zero Heat programme is handing out £7.6 million across three projects nationwide. They range from AI-powered solutions helping landlords bring homes up to standard, to a new off-site approach to retrofit, to data-driven decisions for upgrading non-domestic buildings.

The Climate Change Committee calculates 23% of UK emissions come from heating the nation’s 30 million buildings.

Innovate UK ran a competition, Design Engineering Innovation Lab, to invest in the development of renewable heating technologies which are both innovative and scalable across the UK. Energy suppliers, technology providers, research organisations & community groups responded.

The project proposals were required to reduce capital and installation costs across Net Zero renovations in a range of building types, such as the fabric of the building, and decarbonised heat technologies.

The five-day collaborative sessions produced eight project ideas, three of which were successful in securing a total of £7,615,622 in grant support.

Winners include the Let Zero project, led by South Yorkshire’s Mayoral Combined Authority. The 18-month venture works with private landlords rented sector to improve decision making on renovations. It secured £2.4m to develop an AI-powered solution, to steer give landlords a clear direction for upgrading their properties, tailored to the needs of the occupants. After local trials, replicating the pilot nationwide may be possible..

Another winner, Transform-ER, is a project led by Energiesprong UK. Securing £3.3m, it seeks to speed retrofit cases among UK homes to 1 million per year by 2030.

Elemental Power is the third winner. It accepts £1.9m for a project to transform how insulation retrofits are carried in non-domestic buildings. Simulating real buildings digitally, and using locally provided renewables are methods employed.

Innovate UK deputy challenge director Mike Pitts welcomed the programme’s three biggest awards to date.

“Our Net Zero Heat programme seeks to overcome barriers to innovation, helping the UK prosper as we move quickly away from gas for heat in building”, said Pitt.

More on the Net Zero Heat programme here


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