Giant kites generating electricity and wind turbine blade designs taken from the world of sail racing are just two examples of how the government is driving innovation across the energy sector.
Already a global leader in clean growth, the government's Clean Growth Strategy announced that from 2015-2021 it is investing over £2.5 billion in clean technology research and innovation. This includes £10 million in new funding for the sixth phase of the successful Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, a competitive funding scheme which supports the development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.
Three companies below explain what investment has meant for them.
Kite Power Systems is a UK business developing a disruptive technology to produce renewable energy from the wind.
"Kite Power Systems was a recipient of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund in 2014-15. This support hugely contributed to the current success of the business. It allowed us to significantly advance our innovative wind energy technology that uses kites to produce renewable electricity from the wind. The progress we made with the EEF support significantly reduced investor risk leading to investment from Shell, Schlumberger and Eon in December 2016. This investment has allowed us to demonstrate the technology at a commercial scale in preparation for array deployments in a few years' time."
David Ainsworth, Kite Power Systems
ACT Blades have an innovative wind turbine blade design that can help to reduce the cost of wind energy.
"With Innovate UK funding and support from the High Value Manufacturing and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapults, we have progressed and tested our novel wind turbine blades. This funding has helped us to build a talented team here at ACT blade who can share cross-disciplinary ideas, including those from sail racing, to improve our technology which has attracted investors both in the UK and abroad."
Sabina Malpede, Co-Founder and CEO, ACT Blade Ltd
Naked Energy specialise in solar technology and energy conservation. They are developing a hybrid solar panel that generates both electricity and heat for commercial and industrial applications.
"BEIS financial support has been critical in the development of Virtu, Naked Energy's system which produces combined heat and power from the sun to make better use of available rooftop space, while also improving the return on investment. We have now completed the first stage of our commercial trials, working in collaboration with Sainsbury’s as they look for innovative solutions to achieve their sustainability goals. Naked Energy is now looking forward to growing its business both in the UK and internationally as it commences the next phase of this exciting journey."
Christophe Williams, Founder and Managing Director, Naked Energy