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£11m fund backs pro-growth climate action

A system which uses the sun to cool buildings and uses no electricity, an ultra-low temperature battery that can be used in Antarctica and a biofuel cell which turns a waste product from beer into energy are some of the latest technologies backed by Government experts.

The new innovations are some of the 32 different projects that have been supported through the latest £11.3m round of the Energy Catalyst programme.

The Energy Catalyst is a joint programme run by the Government’s innovation experts at Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “We are clear that taking action on climate change goes hand in hand with securing our long term economic and energy security. By backing businesses and helping them grasp the opportunity that clean growth represents we can have pro-growth climate action.

“That’s exactly what the Energy Catalyst, run by Innovate UK and the EPSRC, does and these businesses that we’re supporting today have recognised the growth and productivity boost that a clean economy represents.”

The Energy Catalyst programme supports ideas all the way from early concept through to prototype demonstrators so long as they help tackle the energy ‘trilemma’ of reducing carbon emissions, reducing costs and increasing security of supply.

More than two hundred applications were assessed by Innovate UK for this second round of the competition.

Innovate UK head of energy Rob Saunders said: “Tackling the energy trilemma is the biggest challenge facing the energy sector today. Businesses, consumers and producers are all recognising the economic sense of reducing costs and carbon emissions, as well as making sure we have a resilient energy supply.

The 32 supported projects are based all over the country and will start their projects in November.

Hyperdrive Innovation based in Sunderland and Oxis energy from Oxford are working with the British Antarctic Survey to test the feasibility of a new generation of energy storage for use in extremely cold climates.

They will test the chemistry of a rechargeable battery, battery management system and packaging that can withstand and outperform current batteries.

Such a battery would allow British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to significantly increase their scientific measurements made in the Antarctic, but without increasing transport costs or emissions.

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