UK Policy paper by BEIS: Research and Development Roadmap

The government’s Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap sets out the UK’s vision and ambition for science, research and innovation.

The government’s long-term objectives for research and development (R&D) are clear: to be a science superpower and invest in the science and research that will deliver economic growth and societal benefits across the UK for decades to come, and to build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow. This was supported by the unprecedented commitment at the Budget to increase public investment in R&D to £22 billion by 2024 to 2025.

The Roadmap marks the start of a conversation to identify:

  • the strengths and challenges facing the sector
  • the issues that need to be addressed
  • how we want to work with universities, business, the third sector and across government to cement the UK’s reputation as a science superpower

R&D will be critical to a swift economic and social recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, for a greener, healthier and more resilient UK. Our goal is to further strengthen science, research and innovation across the UK, making them central to tackling the major challenges we face, including achieving net zero carbon emissions, building resilience to the impacts of climate change, closing the productivity gap and embracing the transformative potential of new technologies to improve the quality of life.

The roadmap is available here.

Nissan, E.ON Drive and Imperial College highlight the carbon saving and economic benefits of Vehicle-to-Grid technology

  • Vehicle-to-Grid technology can help deliver overall power system cost savings of up to £885m per year
  • Adopting this two-way charging technology will accelerate progress in decarbonising the UK’s power system
  • The Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 are the only volume manufactured V2G-capable electric vehicles in the UK

A White Paper published last week- the result of a major collaboration involving carmaker Nissan, E.ON Drive and Imperial College London – explores how the bi-directional charging capability of electric vehicles (EVs) could contribute to lower emissions and help achieve long-term goals in relation to climate change.

The White Paper offers supporting recommendations and calls for the introduction of incentives to accelerate widespread adoption of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging systems, enabling potential benefits to be unlocked.

It also addresses some of the challenges that will be faced in the early days of V2G, particularly around creating a reliable business case in the context of evolving energy markets and regulation.

Publication of the White Paper follows news in August of the first large-scale V2G trial involving 20 chargers installed at Nissan’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield.

Key insights:

The White Paper indicates that V2G could deliver the following benefits:

  • The potential for reducing carbon emissions from the power system to as low as -243gCO2/km.
  • Electricity system operation cost savings of up to £12,000 per annum per EV and CO2 reduction of approximately 60 tonnes per annuam per EV.
  • Annual fleet V2G charging benefits could range between £700-£1,250 per vehicle.

Professor Goran Strbac, Chair in Electrical Energy Systems at Imperial College London said: “Our research has demonstrated that V2G can provide very substantial economic benefits to the power system as well as reduce carbon emissions. This revealed that the additional flexibility provided by V2G fleets can considerably improve system efficiency and reduce investment in new low-carbon generation, while meeting national decarbonisation targets”.

For more information about how businesses with fleets can get involved with V2G, visit

Read the full article here.

Climate crisis: 2020 was joint hottest year ever recorded

Global heating continued unabated despite Covid lockdowns, with record Arctic wildfires and Atlantic tropical storms

Map showing land surface temperature anomalies from 19 March to 20 June 2020
The Arctic and northern Siberia saw particularly extreme average temperatures in 2020, with a large region 3C higher than the long-term average. Photograph: Nasa/EPA

The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming heat and record wildfires in the Arctic, and a record 29 tropical storms in the Atlantic.

Despite a 7% fall in fossil fuel burning due to coronavirus lockdowns, heat-trapping carbon dioxide continued to build up in the atmosphere, also setting a new record. The average surface temperature across the planet in 2020 was 1.25C higher than in the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900, dangerously close to the 1.5C target set by the world’s nations to avoid the worst impacts.

Read the full article here.

Energy white paper by BEIS: Powering our net zero future

The energy white paper bysetting out how the UK will clean up its energy system and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The energy white paper builds on the Prime Minister’s Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution.

The white paper addresses the transformation of our energy system, promoting high-skilled jobs and clean, resilient economic growth as we deliver net-zero emissions by 2050 and is available for downloading here.

Review of Energy Policy 2020 by UKERC

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) launched its Review of Energy Policy, looking at the effects of COVID19 on the energy system and how the unprecedented events of 2020 might impact energy use and climate policy in the future. Focusing on electricity demand, transport, green jobs and skills, Brexit, heat, and societal engagement, the Review reflects on the past year and looks forward, highlighting key priorities for the Government.

Key recommendations


The scale of investment in the power system required over the coming decade is huge. A big challenge is market design. We need a market that can incentivise investment in low carbon power and networks at least cost whilst also providing incentives for flexibility. Output from wind and solar farms will sometimes exceed demand and other times fall to low levels. The right mix of flexible resources must be established to deal with variable output from renewables, with the right market signals and interventions in place to do this at least cost.


The end of the sale of fossil fuel cars and vans by 2030 must be greeted with enthusiasm. Yet if this is to play its part in a Paris-compliant pathway to zero emissions, it must be one of many policy changes to decarbonise UK transport. Earlier action is paramount, and we recommend a market transformation approach targeting the highest emitting vehicles now, not just from 2030. Phasing-in of the phase-out will save millions of tons of CO2 thus reducing the need for radical action later on. The forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan has a lot to deliver.

Green jobs and skills

COVID-19 recovery packages offer the potential to combine job creation with emissions reduction. A national housing retrofit programme would be a triple win, creating jobs, reducing carbon emissions and make our homes more comfortable and affordable to heat. However, UKERC research finds that there are significant skills gaps associated with energy efficient buildings and low carbon heat. UKERC calls for a national programme of retraining and reskilling that takes advantage of the COVID downturn to re-equip building service professions with the skills needed for net zero.


As the UK leaves the EU on the 1st January it will lose many of the advantages of integration. With new regimes for carbon pricing, trading, and interconnection yet to be agreed, there will be a high degree of uncertainty in the near to medium term. Given upward pressure on energy costs, delays to policy, and this uncertainty surrounding new rules, the overall effects of Brexit are not positive for UK energy decarbonisation.


UKERC research calls for action on heat to deliver the net zero technologies that we know work – insulating buildings and rolling out proven options. We need to end delay or speculation about less-proven options. Analysis is consistent with recent advice from the CCC that heat policy should focus on electrification whilst exploring options for hydrogen. We need to break the pattern of ad hoc and disjointed policy measures for heat and buildings, and develop a coherent, long-term strategy. This would be best achieved as an integral part of local and regional energy plans, involving local governments as coordinating agents. The aspirations for heat can’t be realised unless we also take action on the skills gap.

Societal engagement with energy

Achieving net zero in 2050 will entail significant changes to the way we live, what we eat and how we heat our homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that when faced with a threat, society can change rapidly. Engaging society with the net zero transition also needs to change, it needs to be to be more ambitious, diverse, joined-up and system-wide, and recognise the many different ways that citizens engage with these issues on an ongoing basis.

The report is available to download here.

The Supergen Network+ launches research and innovation roadmap for future technology deployment

The Supergen Energy Storage Network+ launched on the 2nd December 2020 in a dedicated event a Research and Innovation Roadmap for Energy Storage that assesses the potential role of energy storage in the UK’s future energy system and identifies the contribution of research and innovation to meeting the challenges. The University of Birmingham issued a press release about the launch event and the Roadmap, which you can view here.

This roadmap was prepared by Daniel Murrant, Jonathan Radcliffe, and Amruta Joshi, from the Energy Systems and Policy Analysis Group, University of Birmingham, also with the previous support from Energy SUPERSTORE through grant EP/L019469/1.

Lead author, Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, of the Energy Systems and Policy Analysis Group at the University of Birmingham, says: “Energy storage will play a critical role as we continue to integrate low-carbon energy systems. In order to accelerate this transition, we need robust energy storage technologies and clear strategies for implementing them. This roadmap will be important for prioritising and guiding current and future activities.”

Professor David Elmes of Warwick Business School, who chaired the roadmap’s launch webinar, said: “It’s great to see that the Energy Storage Research & Innovation Roadmap looks at electricity and heat together. The seasonal demand for heat greatly exceeds the UK’s current electricity demand.  A roadmap that covers multiple uses of energy is essential – heating, cooling, our current uses of electricity and also the rising demand as we electrify transport through EVs.”

Mr Philip Sharman, Director at Evenlode Associates and panellist at the Roadmap launch event said: “It is important that, alongside the government’s ‘10-point plan’ and upcoming Energy White Paper, we have clear roadmaps that guide us on what R&D and innovation is needed.  This one, on the crucial and integrating area of energy storage, is particularly needed at this time.”

Dr Alexandra Gormally of Lancaster University, said: “Given the huge challenges and opportunities we face as we transition to Net zero, this Roadmap couldn’t be more timely. Energy storage will be a fundamental part of our new energy future and this Roadmap will help guide us in our transition”

Professor Dan Gladwin of the University of Sheffield, said: “Over a third of the electrical energy in our homes is now supplied from renewable sources, and with increasing electrification of transport, more energy storage is needed. Whilst we have some storage solutions today to solve our short-term needs, the type of storage we need will evolve rapidly. This roadmap is important in that it details the requirements and actions needed to meet our storage needs to enable us to transition to a low-carbon future.”

Dr Alex Buckman, Practice Manager Networks and Energy Storage, Energy Systems Catapult, said: “The deployment of low carbon technologies needed by 2050 to meet net zero will require a significantly increased use of energy storage technologies across all vectors and durations. The recommendations made in this roadmap support this uptake through a series of realisable steps, accounting for both near term challenges and long term energy system transformation.”

If you couldn’t make it or if you want to see the event again, you can view the recording here.

We are pleased to say that the Roadmap document is now live and we invite you to view it online here.

Supergen Storage

A new Innovation Outlook report on Thermal Energy Storage by IRENA

This outlook from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights key attributes of Thermal energy storage (TES) technologies and identifies priorities for ongoing research and development. More information is available here.

IRENA’s Innovation Outlook series analyses rapidly emerging renewable energy technologies (RETs) and examines ways to enhance their competitiveness. Each outlook identifies technology-, industry- and policy-related challenges and assesses the potential breakthroughs needed to accelerate the uptake.

This report has been completed with the support of Anabel Palacios Trujillo, Omar Saeed, Helena NavarroYulong Ding and Yi-Chung Chen from Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage and the Carbon Trust.

IRENA’s innovation outlook report on TES is available for downloading here.

Are you a clean tech superhero looking for new markets & an opportunity to access investment?

ACT4Green is your place to be!

Under the UK-India Tech Partnership, the British government has joined forces with the leading clean tech accelerators in India and the UK with aim to strengthen the clean tech start-up ecosystems by helping them gain access and establish powerful connections with venture capital networks in both countries.

ACT4Green stands for Accelerating CleanTech for Green; a programme by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government.

A cohort of 20-30 promising Indian and UK clean tech start-ups will be assembled for an intensive capacity development programme culminating in a pitch event with great opportunity to access new investment.

Who should apply?

Clean tech start-ups who are

– registered in India or the UK

– demonstrate a digital technology component

– looking to expand nationally or internationally (including the UK).

‘Clean tech’ for this programme covers new technologies that enable innovations in smart grid and energy storage, green transportation, and energy efficiencies in cities, buildings and industries (aka ‘smart technologies’).

We have a special focus on promoting green transportation/mobility technology. Startups from Maharashtra are encouraged to apply.

Women-led startups are encouraged to apply.

More information available here.

Grid Scale Storage Workshop – EPSRC

EPSRC is holding a virtual community workshop in Grid Scale Storage on 18 and 19 January 2021. This will be an interdisciplinary workshop bringing together both industrial and academic researchers who are addressing challenges in areas relating to grid scale storage.

This workshop will identify the limitations in current approaches and will facilitate the identification of research challenges and opportunities in the area. In addition to evaluating the science behind these ideas, the social and economic implications will also be considered. The workshop will give attendees the opportunity to feed into EPSRC strategic development for the area.

This virtual workshop will take place on zoom. Sifting of EoIs will need to take place as only 30 slots are available for open competition.


The challenges facing Grid Scale Storage require input from individuals working across a multitude of Energy research areas including: Energy Storage, End Use Energy Demand (Energy Efficiency), Networks, Whole Energy Systems, Hydrogen and Alternative Energy Vectors.

Grid Scale Storage is a particularly difficult challenge as it will require coordination across multiple energy vectors at scale. In addition to the scientific challenges, this will have significant economic and societal costs associated with any proposed solution(s) and any potential inconvenience to the consumer. Furthermore, significant capital investments will be required to meet the demand for grid scale storage in this country.

This workshop aims to investigate targeted requirements for intervention in the area of Grid Scale Storage. No specific technologies are currently identified as out of scope; however, the focus of the research should be on providing this storage at scale to meet the demands of users and to mitigate the issues caused by the intermittency of renewables as their share of generation looks to increase. It will bring together industry and academia to jointly identify and address these challenges and support the community and research domain to grow as to increase the UK’s capability in the area.

The attendees will be shortlisted based on a brief internal evaluation within the Energy team, ensuring that a broad and diverse range of expertise and voices are covered from relevant research disciplines and technologies. Preference will be given to candidates with significant knowledge and experience in grid scale storage research though at least one space will be allocated to an Early Career Researcher.

Expected criteria for shortlisting are:

  • Relevant experience in the area of Grid Scale Storage or related topics (250 words max)
  • Academia or Industry
  • Early Career Researcher (Y/N)
  • Availability

Please complete the Smart Survey to register your interest in attending this virtual workshop.

This survey will be open from 16 November 2020 and will close on 15 December 2020 at 16:00.


If you have any questions please contact: