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New £450m fund to unlock cutting-edge innovation across gas and electricity networks - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

New £450m fund to unlock cutting-edge innovation across gas and electricity networks

A £450m fund is being set up to encourage energy suppliers to explore greener ways to power British homes and businesses.

The energy regulator, Ofgem, said firms should submit ideas that were "big, bold and ambitious".

They could include new ways to heat homes, store energy or transport goods and people.

Ofgem identified four areas that its Strategic Innovation Fund would focus on: heat, transport, data and digitalisation, and "whole system integration".

The fund is open for applications from 31 August and will initially run for five years, although the regulator said that could be extended if proposed plans were "strong".

Projects could include heat pumps, that use much less energy to heat homes than gas fired boilers, better electricity transmission and distribution networks, and battery storage technology, Ofgem said.

They should also have the potential to be scaled up across the networks upon completion, it said.

To apply for the first round of funding, network companies must address four major strategic challenges that are crucial for the energy transition. These are:

  • Whole system integration
  • Data and digitalisation
  • Heat
  • Transport

An online briefing event to launch the first funding competition under the SIF will be held on 7 September 2021 from 10:30 to 12:00; for more information see the Ofgem event web page HERE

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