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Government makes £116m pledge to help UK's green-tech firms innovate to fight climate change

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has outlined its commitment to helping UK green-tech businesses bring to market innovations that could help fight climate change

The UK government has pledged to invest more than £116m in green-tech businesses as part of its push to decarbonise the economy and make the nation more energy efficient.

The funding, announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will be used to finance carbon capture projects, as well as tech-led efforts to bolster the energy efficiency of UK homes and businesses by finding cleaner, greener ways to heat and power them.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Hands said the investment will help businesses across the nation turn their “green ideas into reality” and develop “groundbreaking projects” that will help consumers save energy, cut their utility bills and tackle pollution.

“British businesses and entrepreneurs are already leading the world with innovative solutions to tackling climate change,” he said. “This is not only good for the planet but will bring new jobs and investment across the UK.”

The funding will be made available in stages, with the government inviting businesses from today to bid for a share of £64m, which will be used to finance new technologies that can be used to capture carbon emissions and remove other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Examples of such technologies include innovations that rely on absorbents that can capture carbon dioxide directly from the air or trap it using natural materials – such as waste wood – that can be combusted to produce energy.

Participants in the first phase of the project will be invited to have their ideas developed further into proof of concept demonstration projects, with a view to them being made into commercially viable offerings by 2025.

Energy Entrepreneurs Fund

Another £19m of this funding will be offered up to businesses specialising in new tech-led decarbonisation and energy-saving processes, in support of the government’s ongoing Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF) initiative.

This is in addition to the £11m in funding the government previously announced would be used to finance the EEF, bringing the total amount of funding set aside for this to £30m.

“Due to the large number of exceptional high-quality applications that were made, the government is offering an additional £19m, bringing the total funding for this round to £30m,” the government confirmed, in a statement.

“This demonstrates the government’s desire to support new ideas and encourage entrepreneurial spirit, particularly from small businesses, to cement the UK as a world leader for green innovation.”

Read more about green tech and sustainability

The government has also pledged to invest £22.8m in the provision of support services and business development advice to green-tech specialising small and medium-sized enterprises that need help honing their creations.

News of the investment follows the publication of the government’s long-awaited net-zero strategy document, which sets out details of how it plans to achieve its goal of reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT

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