United Kingdom bets £246 million on batteries

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Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark will today announce in a keynote speech on the industrial strategy the launch of the first phase of a £240m government investment into battery technology to ensure the United Kingdom builds on its strengths and leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.

The competitions involved in the Faraday Challenge will be split into three sections - research, innovation and scale-up - all of which are designed to create a change in converting the UK's leading research into technology the market can use, to make sure the United Kingdom has economic success.

Talking about the investment, Clark is expected to say today: "The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will - quite literally - power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the United Kingdom is leading the world". I want to thank all of the organisations across the United Kingdom for the formidable response to the consultation that we have undertaken on our green paper "Building our Industrial Strategy".

Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the launch of the 4-year investment round, Faraday Challenge which is aimed at enhancing expertise in battery technology in the UK.

Battery technology needs a spark of life to improve its storage while reducing the costs, and the United Kingdom government thinks the best way to do that is to slap some cash on the table to spur competition in the sector-where it now lags behind the likes of countries such as Japan and companies such as Tesla.

The Faraday Challenge will be delivered through a series of competitions and will focus on the research, innovation, and scale-up of battery technology.

Greg Clark says an overarching Faraday Challenge Advisory Board will be established to ensure the coherence and impact of the challenge, chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with many decades of senior automotive industry experience and recently chaired the UK Automotive Council for six years.

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The competition is one of the first concrete moves to be confirmed as part of the government's flagship Industrial Strategy.

Advocates of the technology predict increased storage capacity will enable the wider use of intermittent renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines and solar panels even when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.

The Government has revealed plans to invest heavily in developing state-of-the-art batteries for electric vehicles. "It's not that we want - or need - people to work longer hours", he will say.

The advanced technologies will eventually power cars, aircraft, consumer electronics and will store electricity from the grid.

Continued advancements in battery power, including rapidly falling costs, are widely viewed as crucial for rolling out energy storage on a mass scale.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, head of energy and environment at IMechE, welcomed today's Government and Ofgem report on smart power.



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