UK Government  Allocates £1.73 Million to Eight Ground-breaking Projects

Posted on 28 March 2024

The UK Government Allocates £1.73 Million to Eight Ground-breaking Projects

In a significant move towards advancing renewable energy solutions, the UK government has allocated £1.73 million to eight pioneering projects focused on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) within the renewable sector. These initiatives, spanning various aspects of renewable energy production and consumption, aim to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

This funding injection stems from the government’s AI for Decarbonisation Innovation Programme, a part of the ambitious £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. Previous funding rounds under this scheme have already shown promising results, with £1 million distributed to eight winners in Stream 1 and an additional £500,000 allocated last year to establish the UK’s Artificial Intelligence for Decarbonisation’s Virtual Centre for Excellence (ADViCE).

The latest funding, awarded as part of Stream 3, is strategically divided across three key sectors: electricity generation, demand management, and distribution; transport decarbonisation; and land use optimization for renewable energy generation.

Electricity Generation, Demand Management, and Distribution

Four out of the eight projects have been earmarked for innovations in the generation, demand management, and distribution of electricity. These initiatives include:

  • University of Nottingham: This project, receiving £263,378, aims to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasting for solar energy production, utilizing ground-based cameras and satellite imagery to analyze cloud cover and movement.

  • Clio Ventures: Based in London, this project, granted £133,368, focuses on using AI to assist financial institutions in identifying and validating green finance projects.

  • Carbon Laces Solutions: Awarded £342,999, this initiative aims to develop smart technology for optimizing electricity usage in homes, thereby improving grid efficiency and reducing energy costs.

  • Optimise-AI: Based in Cardiff, this project, receiving £125,100, seeks to empower businesses to optimize energy efficiency in buildings through AI-driven systems calibrated with Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data.

Transport Decarbonisation

One project, specifically geared towards transport decarbonisation, was successful in securing funding:

  • Flexible Power Systems: Based in Kent, this project was awarded £209,360 to optimize electric fleet operations and charging schedules using AI-driven analysis of traffic patterns and charger locations.

Land Use Optimization for Renewable Energy Generation
The remaining three projects focus on optimizing land use for renewable energy generation:

  • EDF Energy R&D UK Centre: Located in London, this project, granted £23,586, aims to use AI to optimize wind turbine positioning in offshore wind farms, reducing space requirements without compromising energy output.

  • OnGen: Awarded £326,371, this initiative is developing AI software to recommend low-carbon technologies for buildings in Edinburgh, aiding consumers in improving energy efficiency and reducing bills.

  • Open Power: Based in London, this project, receiving £313,700, is dedicated to developing an AI system to streamline the process of selling electricity back to the grid.

Minister for Affordability and Skills, Amanda Solloway, expressed optimism about the impact of these projects on enhancing the renewables sector and boosting energy efficiency across various domains. Minister for AI, Viscount Camrose, emphasized the transformative potential of AI in addressing global challenges like climate change, reaffirming the UK's commitment to leveraging technology for sustainable development.

In summary, the allocation of £1.73 million to these innovative AI projects represents a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s net-zero ambitions, fostering collaboration between technology, research, and renewable energy sectors to build a greener, more sustainable future.

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