Ofgem unlocks £450m network technology innovation fund to accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero

30th September 2021

The fund will unlock greener ways to travel, and to heat and power homes and businesses, helping turn the UK into the ‘Silicon Valley’ of energy.

The fund is part of Ofgem’s RII02 price controls for the electricity system operator and the network companies that operate GB’s energy pipes and wires.

The £450 million fund, which will be approved by Ofgem and managed in partnership with Innovate UK, will help position the UK as a world leader in energy innovation.

The fund will be used by network companies, system operators, and global businesses and researchers to build innovative, bold ideas on how to accelerate our transition to an emissions-free energy system in efforts to drive towards the UK’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

To apply for funding, network companies must address four strategic challenges of energy transition including whole system integration, data and digitalisation, heat, and transport.

Successful projects may support the roll out of clean heating solutions, such as heat pumps, or establish the development of new technology which ensures effective electricity use and storage.

Energy Minister, Lord Callanan at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “The UK is leading the world in decarbonising our energy system, with our innovators playing a vital role in going further while ensuring consumers receive clean and affordable energy. 

“The Strategic Innovation Fund will ensure the best projects and most talented minds have the grants available to reduce carbon emissions and enable bill payers to see the benefits of building back greener.”

UK Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith said: “UK businesses have proved time and time again that our country is home to world-leading entrepreneurial talent, innovators and disruptors.

“As we approach the COP26 Climate Change summit in Glasgow the Strategic Innovation Fund is an example of how business can provide the solutions that will make our energy cleaner and tackle climate change.”

Source: ClimateAction (originally published on 1st September 2021)