Government will put £45m towards establishing a battery research centre in a bid to bring down costs of energy storage and maximise its impact on sectors such as energy and transport.
The department for business, energy & industrial strategy (Beis) announced its plans ahead of a speech by secretary of state Greg Clark in Birmingham.
That strategy will not emerge until Autumn at the earliest, but the government appears to have some appetite to support emerging energy technologies, as well as more mature technologies.
The Conservative manifesto mooted funding for batteries, while Beis announced last April that it would spend some £340m on smart energy technology development over the next four years.
Under the £1bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, £246m is allocated to smart energy technologies, such as batteries. It is from this pot that the Battery Institute will be funded.
The idea is to create a ‘virtual institute’ via which academia ‘bring together the best minds and facilities.’ The most promising research from that programme will then be accelerated to market with help from Innovate UK. Meanwhile, another competition will look at the best proposition for a new, open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.