12 AI projects looking to boost renewable energy generation will receive a share of £1 million of the funding. Image: Getty Images.

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has announced a £3.25 million funding package to support projects using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate solar connections to the grid.

Forming part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, 12 AI projects looking to boost renewable energy generation will receive a share of £1 million of the funding.

This includes the London-based Open Climate Fix Ltd. (receiving £121,500) which is develop AI technology that will use satellite data to forecast the amount of solar energy transferred to the grid in order to reduce network congestion and heighten the efficiency of renewable energy transmission.

A solar project run by the University of Nottingham will also receive a share of the funding (£133,932) to supports its efforts to improve the forecasting of solar energy production using sky images and weather data.

The remaining £2.23 million will go towards AI projects aiming to cut emission specifically within the energy sector.

“We are unquestionably world-leading when it comes to advanced AI and our track record for decarbonisation,” said minister for energy efficiency and green finance Lord Callanan.

“This unique position means we must now push the boundaries in how this technology can enhance our rapidly-growing clean energy sector.

“It’s projects like those announced today that will take us to the next step on our ambitious journey to becoming net zero, while boosting our energy security and creating a new wave of skilled jobs for the future.”

Minister for AI and intellectual property, Viscount Camrose added: “AI is delivering transformative change in the UK. These winning projects are yet another example of how we are tapping into our world-class research base and home-grown expertise to tackle one of the most pressing global challenges of our time.

“Whether backing projects to help us slash emissions or supporting research to revolutionise healthcare for patients, we’re harnessing the enormous potential of AI technologies to improve people’s lives.

“The government’s Digital Catapult agency, which is part of Innovate UK and supports businesses in progressing their ideas, has also today received up to £500,000 to launch the UK’s first Centre for Excellence on AI innovation for decarbonisation (ADViCE).

“This will provide a virtual hub that will bring together businesses, academics and experts to advance research into AI solutions that will help industries cut emissions.”

The announcement follows the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) opened applications for its 2024 cohort of the TechX Accelerator programme offering up to £100,000 each to 12 low-carbon technology start-ups this July.