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The Renewable Energy Innovation Boom

  • Publish Date: Posted 2 months ago

£37 million. 

That’s how much the UK government has recently pledged towards renewable energy projects.

Why? 

In order to start developing more consistent and reliable sources of green electricity for households across the country.

As demand for electricity begins to rise once again, this funding will prove imperative in fuelling our industry’s innovation.

(Source: Statista)

The need for innovation in renewable energy

Despite its groundbreaking capabilities, today’s renewable energy production isn’t perfect.

Although the growing number of wind farms around the UK’s coastline is certainly a cause for celebration, there is, admittedly, a downside. 

As it stands, over a quarter of our total energy production is heavily reliant on the weather (which is almost impossible to predict). Varying wind speeds and solar strength result in irregular output, making future planning more than a little difficult.

At the rate our population is growing, this is not sustainable. We need a source of renewable energy that can be influenced depending on supply versus demand. 

A “perfect” nationwide system would consider not only the environmental factors of developments in the UK’s renewable energy, but also the social and economic impacts of inconsistent energy supplies.

So, it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done.  The government’s investment looks to directly counteract the challenges our country faces by encouraging the private sector to direct resources into innovation.

The ongoing renewable energy innovation

UK experts are already pursuing other carbon-free energy alternatives with the goal of identifying the ideal solution for our country’s future. 

As it stands, two clean energy project types are making headlines: biomass and hydrogen. Each could prove crucial to our industry.

1. Biomass

An insightful government report recently revealed that biomass is capable of delivering at scale, making it a worthy avenue for further research and development. 

The UK’s Energy Minister, Greg Hands, stated:

“Accelerating home-grown renewables like biomass is a key part of ending our dependence on expensive and volatile fossil fuels. Our £37 million government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.”

2. Hydrogen

Over 20 companies were also granted funding to continue their innovation in hydrogen energy production.

On this matter, the UK Government quoted:

“The Hydrogen Innovation Programme supports the development of technologies to produce extra energy from biomass. BECCS technology can uniquely offer the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass can then be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies.”

The innovative renewable projects receiving Government funding

Although most of the investment is staying close to home, the UK is also sending some money to innovative projects overseas. 

1. Biomass

Organisation

Location

Investment

Goal

SeaGrown Limited

Scarborough

£2.8 million

To develop new techniques to farm and harvest seaweed, taking advantage of its qualities as a source of biomass and ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute

Belfast

£1.5 million

To build an app that enables farmers and land managers to make informed decisions about planting perennial energy crops, helping to optimise biomass choices.

Aberystwyth University

Wales

£2 million

To accelerate the breeding of high-yielding, resilient miscanthus – a grass variety that is well-suited for biomass use

​2. Hydrogen

Organisation

Location

Investment

Goal

University of Aberdeen

Scotland

£220,239

To develop an innovative and sustainable process to obtain hydrogen from the organic matter present in different types of waste.

University of Leeds

England

£249,984 

To produce biohydrogen for the UK’s transport sector.

17Cicada Ltd

England

£237,065

To develop technology to produce hydrogen from bacteria.

The impact of the renewable energy innovation boom

Going forward, it’s clear that incredible innovation is on the horizon for our industry.

With access to financial resources, energy companies across the United Kingdom are going to be able to develop technologies that might just be the solution to our impending energy crisis. 

While businesses forecast exponential growth, candidates in this sector should prepare themselves for exciting opportunities to arise. 

(Source: UK Construction Online).

Both parties would be well-advised to “seize the moment” by starting to network with specialist renewable energy recruiters such as EarthStream.

Work with EarthStream

EarthStream connects both qualified and entry-level talent with engaging and challenging renewable energy occupations around the world.

We’re already involved in the construction of five floating wind farm projects, and forecast this number to continue to rise.

As governments and businesses invest in sustainable power, infrastructures and technologies, your career path becomes increasingly limitless. Our in-depth knowledge and worldwide connections mean we not only understand your problems, but also solve them.

Speak to one of our experts today.