The UK has committed extra funding to help develop grid-scale storage technology.
David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, announced a series of funding measures designed to support the “eight great technologies” which the government hopes will propel the UK to future growth.
The eight technologies are sharing the £600 million of funds announced for science in the Autumn Statement. The following technologies will share over £460 million in funding: big data, space, robotics and autonomous systems, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, agri-science, advanced materials and energy.
Specifically, £30 million has been pledged to create new, dedicated research and development facilities with the purpose of developing and testing new grid-scale storage technologies. It is hoped that the significant funding will help the UK capitalise on its “considerable excess energy production”, allowing the UK to save money and reduce its national carbon footprint.
Commenting on the proposals Willetts said: “Strong science and flexible markets are a good combination of policies. But it is not enough. It misses out crucial stuff in the middle – real decisions on backing key technologies on their journey from the lab to the marketplace. It is the missing third pillar to any successful high tech strategy. It is R&D and technology and engineering as distinct from pure science. It is our historic failure to back this which lies behind the familiar problems of the so-called ‘valley of death’ between scientific discoveries and commercial applications.”