The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is planning to invest up to £6bn to develop wind, tidal and solar energy from 2020, with further money earmarked for “camber” energy sources such as hydroelectric power.
The department’s chief executive, Sir Nicholas Wilshaw, told the BBC that the UK had the most promising energy resources in the world.
“The country has a number of very attractive renewable and low-carbon sources, including coal, gas, and oil.
We need to continue to develop these and invest in them,” he said.”
We have some really exciting developments in wind, but it is also important to remember that the cost of energy will continue to fall as we build more energy storage.”
Wind energy is a key energy source for the UK, accounting for about 80% of all new electricity generation.
But the government has struggled to develop large-scale wind projects in the UK due to the high cost of land.
Wilshaw said: “We need to invest in all these sources to make sure that they’re sustainable.”
“We’re going to invest £6.3bn in this next round of research and development.”
But Wilshaw added that the money would be “used wisely”, with an eye on the long-term sustainability of renewable energy.
“It’s all about ensuring we continue to grow the supply of energy for the people who use it,” he told the Radio Times.
“And we’re investing the money into what is an achievable project, which is a good way of investing in the future.”
The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will spend up to $3.7bn to invest “cambered” energy from 2026, which it will use to provide low-emissions power for rural communities.
In a statement, Defra said that it wanted to ensure that the government “is investing in projects that are good for the environment, and good for business, and that the economic benefits are realised for the long term”.
“It is vital that we are investing in energy technologies that will be sustainable, long-lasting, and affordable,” it said.
“We will use this investment to make the right investment for our rural communities and the UK economy.”
In a further development, the UK’s National Grid will launch an initial “battery trial” of a battery-powered car from 2020 that will have a range of up to 100 miles (160km) on a single charge.
The first car will be “designed for local and regional users and will be available in 2020”, with the UK government “taking a leading role in developing the technology”.
Wilshaw told the Daily Telegraph that the trial would be conducted by a group of firms in partnership with a “leading battery maker” to find the right balance between cost and range.
“This is a great opportunity to get some of the best research into this area and then have it tested on a real car,” he added.
The scheme will involve an initial investment of $1bn by 2020 and another $1.2bn by 2025.
Willey said the scheme would be an “open competition” that would involve “everybody” taking part.
“So the first vehicle we have on the market is a vehicle that has been designed for local use and has a range that is 100 miles,” he explained.
“But we are not limited to that.”
Wilshaw stressed that this would be a “trial vehicle”, and that “anybody can take part in it”.
He added that this was “an opportunity to give a test drive to the technologies and get a feel for the range”.
“We need people to participate,” he concluded.
In January 2018, the Department for Environment, Energy and Food (Defa) announced a £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) investment to develop the “first battery”, the “titanic”, to provide electricity to the UK from the grid.