£246m investment aims to make UK world leader in electric battery technology
The four-year investment round is a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
The first phase of a £246 million Government investment into battery technology is being launched.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said the aim is to ensure the UK leads the world in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries.
Known as the Faraday Challenge, the four-year investment round is a key part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. It will deliver a programme of competitions that will aim to boost the research and development of battery technology.
The minister will tell a meeting hosted by the Resolution Foundation in Birmingham: “To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past.
“Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France.
“In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards.
“It’s not that we want – or need – people to work longer hours. It’s that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals.
“If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.”
Mr Clark said there had been an “extraordinary” reaction to a Green Paper on the Industrial Strategy, with over 1,900 written responses, from new start-ups to big businesses and from organisations as diverse as the Premier League to the Women’s Engineering Society.
“Later in the year we will respond formally to the consultation with a White Paper, but the shape of it is already becoming clear.
“One of the strengths of an industrial strategy is to be able to bring together concerted effort on areas of opportunity that have previously been in different sectors, or which require joining forces between entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, industries, and local and national government,” he will say.
Changes to the rules on electricity usage and storage could save UK consumers billions, the BBC reported.
According to energy regulator Ofgem, consumers could save between £17 billion and £40 billion by 2050 if new rules, due to come into effect over the next year, are successful, the broadcaster said.
Innovations in flexibility over electricity use were under way with millions of people due to improvements in “digital technology, battery storage and renewables”, the BBC said.
It cited a household which allows its freezer to be temporarily switched off at times of peak demand as an example of those who could benefit.
Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the aim of the Government’s investment was to improve battery technology.
“Then, of course, the challenge is to turn that science into innovation and then scale it up, so that we can build the cars of the future,” he said.
“Cars are going to change very dramatically – essentially, they’re going to be a battery, a computer, on a chassis.”