£246m Government drive to make United Kingdom leader in battery technology

Britain's Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in central London Britain

Britain's Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark arrives in Downing Street for a cabinet meeting in central London Britain

The investment, which is part of the government's broader industrial strategy, will begin with the launch of a £45m "Battery Institute" competition, which will ultimately see the formation of a centre for battery research to make technology more accessible and affordable.

The government will today announce a £246m (Rs 2,421 cr) investment in battery technology for electric vehicles as it aims to "establish the United Kingdom as world leader" in the sector.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark will unveil details of the first phase, known as the Faraday Challenge, on Monday.

"As part of our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund I am today launching the Faraday Challenge, which will put £246m into research, innovation and scale-up of battery technology", Clark will say.

This will be spearheaded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a "battery institute". The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK. The Advanced Propulsion Centre will work with the automotive sector to identify the best ideas to develop at the National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

Mr Clarke is expected to say that the Government's co-ordinated programme of battery funding competitions, dubbed the Faraday Challenge, "will - quite literally - power the automotive and energy revolution".

The Faraday Challenge board will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones, a senior engineering leader with years of senior automotive industry experience.

A three-month consultation earlier this year on an industrial strategy to increase United Kingdom productivity and growth attracted more than 1,900 written responses from businesses and organisations.

Storage technology forms a central part of a vision for a flexible energy system that will allow businesses and households to automatically adjust their energy consumption according to the availability and price of electricity.

In a separate announcement, energy regulator Ofgem is expected to outline plans for people across the United Kingdom to generate and store their own electricity to help reduce bills. For example, consumers could take advantage of cheaper prices to run their dishwashers on sunny afternoons, or set their freezers to automatically turn off for a few minutes at a time during a period of low renewable power generation, to avoid higher prices and ease pressure on the grid.

The rules are also expected to make it easier for people to generate, store and sell energy from solar panels and batteries, saving consumers up to £40bn by 2050. If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.

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