Talented energy entrepreneurs have the chance to benefit from a share of £11 million government funding to turn their ideas into real products and services whilst eliminating carbon emissions.

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has announced the latest round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF), which seeks to drive forward new clean technologies across all sectors of UK industry, supporting the UK to eliminate its contribution to climate change by 2050.

This includes innovations that boost energy efficiency in people’s homes, reduce carbon emissions and develop green transport as well as sourcing cleaner and greener ways to generate power and heat.

The UK’s budding energy entrepreneurs are being urged to bid for the latest £11 million government funding, which will support between 15 and 20 projects, with each successful bidder receiving up to £1 million.

Successful projects could create hundreds of green jobs and kickstart millions-of-pounds-worth of private sector investment across the UK, helping the country to build back greener as we host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow this November.

Previous recipients of funding include CCm Technologies in Swindon that is working with Walkers Crisps to implement carbon capture innovations in its factory processes, and Leeds-based C-Capture, which has developed processes to capture harmful greenhouse gases, including an innovative deployment of its technology at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

The UK is famous for its strong entrepreneurial spirit. We want to unleash this talent to drive forward green technologies across the UK, helping the public and businesses cut their carbon footprint.

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is backing the UK’s next generation of inventors and innovators to turn their ideas into reality, with previous successful projects already helping drive down emissions across the country and creating green jobs as we work to build back greener.

Since 2012, the government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund has awarded £72 million worth of grants, supported 156 projects and leveraged more than £500 million in private investment – a figure that is still growing.

Previous low-carbon projects that have reaped the rewards of government grants, include:

  • Axis Energy Projects, Aberdeen: received £217,160 to develop an efficient and low-cost method of anchoring floating offshore wind turbines to the seabed that could enable offshore wind technology to be positioned in more remote and deeper parts of the marine environment that are inaccessible to fixed turbines and contributing towards UK commitments to produce 40GW of wind power by 2030
  • Energy Transitions Ltd, Cardiff: received £160,793 to develop the Steel Zero system, which combines innovative stainless steel cladding panels with solar energy technology so a building’s entire façade can produce clean and efficient heat for the spaces within
  • Glass Technology Services Ltd, Sheffield: received £508,739 to lead a project with 6 partners to revolutionise glassmaking by replacing existing raw materials with ash waste from the biomass energy industry, reducing the high temperatures required in the glass production process and lowering energy requirements, costs and carbon emissions by up to 10%
  • Radfan, Newcastle: received £20,250 to develop an innovative fan unit that fixes to the top of any central heating radiator and redirects the flow of warm air horizontally into the room, preventing heat from escaping, keeping people’s rooms warm and helping to lower heating bills

UK Net Zero Business Champion, Andrew Griffith said:

I am thrilled to welcome the next stage of this excellent scheme, which is harnessing the creativity of British entrepreneurs to protect both the planet and UK industry by large and small innovations alike.

This is another great step from our government, investing in the jobs of the future and the next generation of UK business who will lead the world in eliminating emissions from industry and driving forward our green industrial revolution.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said:

The UK government celebrates entrepreneurship. We are committed to rewarding innovation and hard work. Entrepreneurs bring solutions to problems, such as climate change, whilst creating new jobs and supporting our economic recovery from coronavirus.

With a long history of innovation, it is no surprise Scotland is producing lots of really exciting startups – including previous Scottish recipients of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.

I encourage Scotland’s energy entrepreneurs to apply for a share of this £11 million UK government funding as we seek to build back better ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.

Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart said:

The chance to share in this funding is fantastic news for promising Welsh energy entrepreneurs.   The UK government is committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2050. We will do so by investing in pioneering projects, people and businesses, creating green jobs and opportunities for people across Wales.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis said:

Northern Ireland is a nation that embodies entrepreneurial spirit and is at the forefront of our efforts to cultivate a more environmentally sustainable future across the United Kingdom. With a share of this new £11 million investment, Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs will be able to help supercharge the United Kingdom’s ‘Green Economy’, as we continue to work towards our goal of reducing our emissions to net zero by 2050.

Northern Ireland based projects such as Senergy Innovations and Minesto have already developed cutting edge technologies to harness natural resources for energy, a testament to our extraordinary local talent. I encourage all our budding entrepreneurs to apply for this scheme to help us build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom White, CEO C-Capture, said:

Innovations in carbon capture technology are vital in helping the UK achieve its net zero target. Energy Entrepreneurs funding enabled C-Capture to further develop and deploy its technology, to demonstrate the performance and cost advantages which will be advantageous to companies seeking to decarbonise their operations.

The support we have received from the UK government has been of fundamental importance in developing a technology has the potential to capture millions of tonnes of CO2 per year.

John Blower, CEO Energy Transitions Ltd, said:

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund acted as a catalyst that enabled us to take forward our Steel Zero solar façade from concept towards market readiness.

BEIS’ support, both through the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund grant and the associated ‘Incubation Support’, which has assisted us in a range of areas, including branding, licensing and marketing, has had a transformational effect and helped us establish a platform from which we aim to create a global clean technology business.

John Baross, managing director Axis Energy Projects, said:

Axis Energy Projects was pleased to have received a grant from the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. It allowed us to progress our low-cost anchoring method for floating offshore wind turbines not only on the UK Continental Shelf but on a global basis.

Such was our progress that we can now focus on offshore wind farms and on decarbonising existing and new offshore oil and gas production facilities. This would not have been possible without the grant award.

Christine Boyle, CEO Senergy Innovations, said:

For Senergy, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund programme brought the perfect combination of critical early-stage funding and business acceleration support. The network of academic and business experts that were brought together to support our innovation journey was key to our success.

The wealth of experience both within CLT, the programme partner companies, and the international organisations they collaborate with, was key to delivering our early commercial success. A fantastic opportunity to turn an entrepreneur’s idea into a global opportunity.

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to legally commit to ending its contribution to global warming by 2050. This commitment has been reinforced by the Prime Minister’s ten point plan and the Energy White Paper, published in 2020.

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