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Re-energise: Promoting sustainability in the energy sector

Finding more efficient ways to harness solar energy is critical to transitioning to a carbon-free electric grid, and this remains one of the focal areas of the NPL.

Consumers are unlikely to see their energy bills come down soon despite a drop in wholesale natural gas prices
Consumers are unlikely to see their energy bills come down soon despite a drop in wholesale natural gas prices - Copyright AFP Oikeutta Elaimille
Consumers are unlikely to see their energy bills come down soon despite a drop in wholesale natural gas prices - Copyright AFP Oikeutta Elaimille

In the U.K., the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has launched a new initiative titled ‘Measurement for Business’ (M4B). central to this is the granting of 20 days to businesses to access to their measurement science and engineering expertise, without cost.

The aim of this government programme (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) is to help spark innovative businesses, accelerate the commercialisation of innovative products and services and provide confidence to investors and early adopters.

Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. The NPL also has regional bases across the U.K., including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.

Finding more efficient ways to harness solar energy is critical to transitioning to a carbon-free electric grid, and this remains one of the focal areas of the NPL.

The M4B process is aimed at small-to-medium sized enterprises within the energy sector and to promote sustainability by helping to accelerate the development of energy-efficient technologies.

Benefits to businesses from green energy solutions include:

  • Less global warming.
  • Improved public health.
  • Inexhaustible energy.
  • Jobs and other economic benefits.
  • Stable energy prices.
  • Reliability and resilience.

The new programme was announced by Dr Peter Thompson, CEO at NPL, at an event hosted by the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute in Rochdale, Yorkshire.

The initiative builds upon NPL’s previous ‘Measurement for Recovery’ (M4R) programme, which supported UK industry in its recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. This fits in with the NPL’s services, including maintaining and developing the U.K.’s primary measurement standards and uses them to provide calibrations, measurement services and testing facilities.

Here, 70 percent of companies NPL worked with under this programme said their commercial opportunity had greatly or moderately increased and 90 percent reported a financial benefit as a result of the work conducted with NPL.

Thompson stated: “In launching our new programme, I’m delighted that we are strengthening our collaboration with UK businesses to accelerate innovation and increase confidence in product development. By providing UK SMEs with access to our unique measurement expertise and facilities, through M4B, we are driving business growth and ensuring the UK is addressing national challenges.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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