Innovation towards greater clean energy independence given £10m boost

Green energy entrepreneurs striving to cut the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels have the chance to bring their innovations to life thanks to £10 million funding through the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.

The ninth round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund – which seeks to promote new clean technologies across all sectors of the economy – has opened for applications as the Government pushes towards greater clean energy independence.

According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), £10 million funding – provided through the BEIS £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio – will be available for between 15 and 20 projects nationwide.

The Fund’s scope covers everything from innovation to boost energy efficiency in people’s homes and develop green transport to sourcing cleaner ways to generate power and heat.

What’s more, and unique to this round of the scheme, £1m of the £10m available has been earmarked for innovative energy projects in Cornwall. This follows an announcement by the Prime Minister for innovation funding to mark Cornwall’s role in hosting the G7 Summit. To be eligible, at least 75% of a project’s activities must take place in the geographical boundary of the county of Cornwall.

Backing the next generation

Since 2012, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund has awarded more than £100 million worth of grants, backed 214 projects across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and leveraged more than £500 million in private investment.

Previous recipients include Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation, which is developing a next generation solution for slashing the costs of deploying and operating tidal stream energy, and Woodrow Scientific of Hampshire, which received funding to develop a cleaning method to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.

Discussing the announcement of the Fund’s ninth wave, energy minister Greg Hands said: “Our innovation has made the UK a green energy world leader and we are unleashing that now to help us further secure greater clean energy independence.

“The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is backing the next generation of inventors and innovators to drive forward cheap and reliable low-carbon technologies, create jobs and reduce our reliance on expensive fossil fuels.”

The government has also unveiled £7 million in funding for 14 energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects across England and Wales in the final part of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund’s phase one competition window.

Supported projects will help organisations improve their energy efficiency, reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions.

Winners include Phillips 66, which will use funding to electrify its Humberside refinery and Sheffield Forgemasters, which will finance a project to decarbonise the production of large-scale forgings and castings at its Sheffield steelworks.

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