Government targets local smart energy in low-carbon funding drive

The government has announced a £90mn funding package in a drive to cut carbon emissions in heavy industry and homes through innovation.

Unveiled on 18 February, £21mn of this funding will go towards local smart energy projects across the UK that could lead to an 80% reduction in housing emissions and over 250,000 people having their homes powered by local renewable sources by 2030.

A total of 10 projects* were allocated funding, including an integrated electrification, mobility and heat provision project in Peterborough, providing an outcome that can be fully replicated in other areas; the delivery of a detailed design of a smart local energy system for Rugeley Town and its local area, with a sustainable village of 2,300 homes built on the former ENGIE Rugeley Power Station; and the development of a Horizontally Integrated Vertical Energy Systems (HIVES) approach to produce a local energy system design that covers the whole of Southend and is replicable across the UK.

The funding package also saw substantial support for hydrogen, including funds for two of Europe’s first-ever large scale, low carbon hydrogen production plants.

BEIS Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Cleaning up emissions from industry and housing is a big challenge but today’s £90 million investment will set us on the right path as we develop clean technologies like hydrogen. This is an important part of our world-leading efforts in eliminating our contribution to climate change by 2050 while also growing our economy, creating up to 2 million green collar jobs across the country by 2030.”

BEIS   UKRI

*The 10 local smart energy projects to receive government funding:

  • West Midlands Regional Energy System Operator (Coventry): The creation of a local energy market for Coventry.
  • GIRONA (Coleraine, Causeway Coast and Glens): The establishment of a micro-grid of almost 100 homes, powered entirely by wind.
  • Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure: An integrated electrification, mobility and heat provision project, providing something that can be fully replicated in other areas.
  • Green Smart Community Integrated Energy Systems 2 (Islington): The creation of a smart grid in Islington.
  • Zero Carbon Rugeley: This will see delivery of a detailed design of a smart local energy system for Rugeley Town and its local area, with a sustainable village of 2,300 homes built in the former ENGIE Rugeley Power Station.
  • GM Local Energy Market (Greater Manchester): The creation of a local energy market for the Greater Manchester area.
  • Project REMeDY (Southend): The development of Horizontally Integrated Vertical Energy Systems approach to produce a local energy system design that covers the whole of Southend and is replicable across the UK.
  • Energy Kingdom (Milford Haven): Focussing on developing diverse, local seed markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables from fossil fuels.
  • Multi-vector Energy Exchange (Liverpool): Developing interaction within the energy system to create a more flexible and dynamic system in Liverpool.
  • REWIRE-NW (Warrington): This project will use 5G and data-centric intelligence to drive the local energy systems towards lower costs and lower carbon outcomes.