The Department of Energy and Climate Change has submitted to cuts of 22% over the next four years but has been granted a doubling of its innovation fund.

The departmental cuts, agreed to under chancellor George Osborne’s spending review, will see it save more than £220 million over the next four years, which it expects to primarily collect from pooled back office and corporate services as well as cheaper contracts in its coal and nuclear liabilities.

More than £1 billion is to be saved between 2016/17 and 2019/20 under its nuclear decommissioning activities by sourcing “better value contracts, top class commercial procurement… [and] delaying non-safety-critical projects]”.

While DECC was widely reported to have accepted cuts of around 21% several weeks ago, there had been speculation that the department’s cuts could have climbed to as much as 30%, a figure which would have prompted significant concerns.

During this morning’s Westminster Hall Debate on clean energy investment Labour MP Alan Whitehead questioned whether DECC would be able to continue to function properly if its budget was cut as such considering how much of its funding is pre-allocated to nuclear clean-up work.

But despite the cut DECC has managed to secure a doubling of its innovation fund over the next five years to £500 million. This will go to “strengthen the future security of supply, reduce the costs of decarbonisation and boost industrial and research capabilities”.

Nuclear is widely expected to be the main beneficiary of this innovation fund however. Osborne repeatedly mentioned a desire to boost the UK’s nuclear expertise during his speech, particularly in the field of small-modular nuclear reactors, widely considered to be a crucial area of energy investment over the next decade.