By Kari Williamson
The UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey, says: “Part of the way that we're going to tackle climate change and get clean energy is through innovation, particularly with SMEs.
“We’re allocating a fund of £35m which will help innovators and entrepreneurs develop and demonstrate low carbon technologies.
“The first wave is going to be in energy efficiency in buildings, things like advanced lighting, heat pumps, ventilation technologies and so on. This is a practical way that we can make sure we get to the low carbon economy.”
Energy Entrepreneurs Fund
The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund will have a £35m budget over the next three years. Its aim is to provide financial support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and demonstrate ideas.
The SMEs can apply for up to £1m of funding, which can be used to leverage additional funds from private sector investors. Experts are also at hand to help them bring products to market.
The £35m consists of £20m from DECC's Buildings Innovation Programme, which initially will support energy efficiency technologies such as advanced lighting, heat pumps and ventilation technologies.
The remaining £15m will expand the call into power generation at a later stage.
DECC will also soon launch a £3m competition in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board to assess heat storage technologies suitable for integration with domestic heating system.
Also part of DECC's Buildings Innovation Programme, the aim of the scheme is to assess the viability and benefits of compact heat storage materials, which could even out peak electricity demand from low-carbon heat technologies such as heat pumps.
Low-carbon navigator tool
To link up funding and applicants, the UK Government is also launching a low-carbon funding landscape navigator.
Developed by the Energy Generation & Supply Knowledge Transfer Network, with support from DECC, the online tool allows users to search for the latest funding opportunities in the low-carbon area and get help finding the right partners for specific calls.
The site is open to both public and private funders to add and manage their own funding opportunities.