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The government says the projects could see over 250,000 people’s homes powered by local renewable sources by 2030 – which could lead to their energy bills reducing by as much as half.
The UK government has announced a £21 million investment for 10 smart energy projects across the UK to move into the demonstration phase. They will trial new technologies which ministers say could form a “blueprint for greener localised energy generation” and help to meet the government’s 2050 net-zero emissions target.
The awards are part of a £90 million package to tackle emissions from homes and heavy industry. This incorporates £70 million towards developing hydrogen technology, including funding for Europe’s first hydrogen plants, which the government says could generate enough clean energy to heat over 200,000 homes.
The local smart energy awards will be administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) following its Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge.
Ministers say the new technologies being trialled could form a “blueprint for greener localised energy generation” and help to meet the government’s 2050 net-zero emissions target.
The projects could see over 250,000 people’s homes powered by local renewable sources by 2030 – which could cut energy bills by up to half, according to government projections.
The competition winners include:
Other projects include generating geothermal energy from canals and old coal mineshafts, and a heat network warming homes from the London underground.
Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Every corner of the UK has a part to play as we eliminate our contribution to climate change entirely by 2050.
“These innovative projects will deliver energy savings and reduce carbon emissions – a win-win for communities and the environment.”
Rob Saunders, Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UKRI, added: “This innovative project provides new approaches to delivering our net-zero commitments by delivering cleaner, cheaper energy services while creating more prosperous and resilient communities. But as well as their benefits to consumers, this project, as part of the Clean Growth Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge, places UK industry at the forefront of the global shift to clean energy systems and economies.”
UKRI has also announced the winners of the Key Technology Components for Local Energy Systems competition. They will share a further £4.5 million of funding to develop technology components that help improve the efficiency of local energy systems.
These winners include technology that enables the charging of electric taxis and private electric vehicles at railway stations from the rail traction power supply; a two-way communications system that will allow network operators to communicate with household equipment to warn it when the local system is under stress and automatically relieve that stress; and a blockchain/AI-based virtual power plant (VPP) that aims to improve the efficiency of local energy systems.
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