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article imageU.K. announces it will invest $320 million in energy storage R&D

By Karen Graham     Jul 24, 2017 in Technology
London - In a move aimed at powering the transition to a low-carbon economy, the U.K. is set to invest in battery technology research and development to the tune of £246 million ($320 million) over the next four years.
The investment into energy battery R&D is part of the U.K. government's larger industrial scheme which is designed to take a more "hands-on approach" in developing key industries as the U.K. leaves the European Union, according to Reuters.
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark will announce the four-year investment round on Monday, called the Faraday Challenge. The funding will be distributed through three competition streams, aimed at boosting U.K.-based R&D in energy technology.
Electric batteries are a major growth area for both the vehicle and energy sectors. The first phase of the initiative will be the creation of a "Battery Institute" for research, using £45 million. This part of the competition will be led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The battery Institute will be a collaborative effort involving a number of universities all working to address the key industrial challenges in battery development, including the cost of the technology, reducing the charge and use times, reducing battery sizes and increasing battery capacity.
Innovate U.K., the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board, the U.K.'s innovation agency, will lead the second stage of the competition. They will hold competitions aimed at bringing the most promising results from the Battery Institute closer to market.
The third part of the competition will be led by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The Centre was formed in 2013 through a commitment between the U.K. government and the automotive industry through the Automotive Council to position the U.K. as a global center of excellence for low carbon powertrain development and production.
Advanced Propulion Centre
The APC's primary focus will be on ramping up battery technology through working with the automotive industry to bring the most promising results to a new open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility. In talking about the investment, Secretary Clark said: "The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the U.K. is leading the world."
Clark also said that up to 40 billion pounds could be saved by 2050 if measures were undertaken to better manage energy use. This could include allowing consumers to control their appliances from their smartphones. But overshadowing Britain's bold move to become a world leader in battery technology is Brexit.
Fears of what might happen when Brexit comes into being have made investors a bit leery, worried that the country may lose free trade with the EU. But Britain is moving forward in its investment in the future.
More about battery technology, United Kingdom, Energy storage, battery institute, research and development
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