Innovators across the country are today being offered the chance to get their hands on cash to develop innovative energy storage designs to help cut costs and bring new technologies to market in this sector.
Energy storage systems enable electricity generated at a time of low demand to be stored and used at a later time when electricity demand is high. These systems have an important role to play in supporting the growth of low carbon technologies but this sector is in need of an injection of cash to spur on innovation and encourage private sector investment, as highlighted by a recent report published by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG).
In light of the growing importance of energy storage in the low carbon economy, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has today launched two energy storage competitions, the first for large-scale energy storage demonstration projects and the second for research and feasibility studies into storage systems and their components.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:
“As we move towards a low carbon future, the ability to store energy when we don’t need it, for times when we do will become even more important, helping us balance our electricity network and use more clean green power.
“This investment will help boost innovation in this area and bring more technologies into this growing market.”
£17million energy storage technology demonstration competition
This scheme offers organisations the opportunity to secure contracts to design and test energy storage technologies currently in the early stages of development. The competition will be run in two stages, with the first stage offering up to £40,000 for project designs. Applications for the competition must be submitted by 13 December 2012 and successful first stage bidders will be announced in February 2013.
Innovators who are judged to have submitted project designs which offer the best value for money and best fit with the competition’s aims will then be invited to take part in a second stage where up to £12million will be available to test their designs on the ground. Applications will be assessed against a range of criteria including the technical specification, value for money and potential for commercialisation. DECC expects to fund up to 10 project designs and up to three demonstration projects.
£3million energy storage systems component research and feasibility studies competition
Under this scheme organisations can bid for grants of up to £1million to improve components or materials used for energy storage systems or to develop feasibility studies to further explore how systems work and how they can be used in the UK electricity network. The bids will be assessed against a range of criteria including the technical specification, value for money and potential for commercialisation. There are two opportunities to apply, the first application window closes at noon on 13 December 2012 and the second closes at noon on 27 March 2013.
Interested organisations are allowed to bid for money under both competitions and are encouraged to attend the briefing event in London on 6 November 2012 before submitting an application.