Ideas sought for £90m annual innovation competition

Up to £90 million of funding will be up for grabs in the upcoming Network Innovation Competition, with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) issuing a call for ideas.

Ideas sought for £90m annual innovation competition

£70m for electricity network projects and £20m for gas network projects is being made available with cross-vector schemes potentially able to access funding from both pots.

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.

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, set out in the Gas and Electricity Network Innovation Strategies or one of the possible cross-sector areas, such as whole system planning.

Potential applicants can also find out more information about existing innovation projects and meet network operators to discuss potential projects at this year’s Low Carbon Network Innovation (LCNI) Conference, the UK’s largest smart grid conference, which takes place in Glasgow on 30-31 October.

David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association, said: “We need to be relentless in our focus on innovation to deliver net zero and reap the benefits that it can provide. Private enterprise is key to delivering network innovation which is vital to help keep energy bills down for the public, while delivering a smarter, cleaner and more flexible energy system that serves the country. 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. We want to hear from the widest range of energy innovators as possible to help deliver that.”

The call for ideas is now open and closes on 8 November at 5pm. Further information can be found on the ENA’s Innovation Collaboration Portal.


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