£90m energy innovation competition launched

Network companies have called on partners to help them compete for a share of £90 million of funding which is available through Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition (NIC).

£90m energy innovation competition launched

The “call for ideas” has been sent out by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) – the trade body for the sector.

Successful applicants will work with network companies to compete for up to £20m of funding available for gas network projects and up to £70m available for electricity network projects.

David Smith, chief executive of the ENA, said: “This is an exciting chance for innovators to deliver projects that will make a real difference to the way networks operate in communities up and down the country. Network innovation is vital to keeping energy bills down for the public, whilst delivering a smarter, cleaner and more flexible energy system that serves the country. We want to hear from the widest range of energy innovators as possible to help deliver that.”

Phillip New, CEO of Energy Systems Catapult, added: “We are seeing extraordinary changes across the energy system, in particular in how our networks manage the shift to more low carbon and decentralised energy. This programme gives innovative companies the important chance to road test new ideas and trial them at scale.”

Proposals must provide a clear cost benefit to the public, cost benefits to the running of the networks, environmental benefits and demonstrate genuine innovation. They will need to fit with the priority areas or one of the possible cross-sector areas, such as whole system planning, set out in the ENA’s Gas and Electricity Network Innovation Strategies published earlier this year.

The annual Competition is designed to support a range of large scale energy innovation projects in communities across the country. Run by Ofgem, network companies and their partners will compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new energy technologies that will help run energy network infrastructure in a smarter, cleaner and more flexible way.

The call for ideas opened on 3 September and closes on 26 October at 5pm. Applications can be made on Energy Networks Association’s Network Innovation Collaboration Portal.


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