Windows that act as solar panels, an engine that runs on landfill emissions and Europe’s biggest battery are some of the projects to have received a share of £24.5m of government funding.
These projects are among 40 new technologies that won funding through the first round of Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst, which is designed to help tackle the so-called energy “trilemma” of reducing carbon emissions, increasing security of supply and cutting the cost of energy.
Business and energy minister Matthew Hancock said: “The projects we are backing through Energy Catalyst demonstrate the depth and breadth of British innovation. Many of these projects are not only UK firsts, but world firsts, and by supporting them at this early stage we will ensure the UK reaps the rewards.
“By funding this research we are not only working towards our goal of reducing carbon emissions, but fostering an environment that will create jobs, grow business and maintain the UK’s position at the cutting edge of technological advancement.”
Rob Saunders, head of energy at Innovate UK, said: “The projects that have won funding in this first round are exactly the sort of innovative ideas we had in mind when Energy Catalyst was created. The second round is well under way and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing UK firms come forward with more new ways of securing a reliable, low-carbon and low-cost energy system.”
Among the winners is Cambridge-based Nyak Technology, which was awarded almost £200,000 to help develop an organic solar cell that could eventually see the windows in homes replaced by transparent, energy-producing solar panels.
Another winner, Oaktec, is intending to use the £220,000 it received to fund a system that is not dissimilar to technology first seen in the 1980s classic Back to the Future.
It will be testing the feasibility of its Pulse-R engine system, which can use the untreated gas from landfill sites to power a self-supercharged biogas engine.