Speech by Greg Barker at the Low Carbon
Innovation Coordination Group Strategic Framework Briefing and Networking
Thank you Paul.
Innovation is absolutely crucial to achieve this
Coalition Government’s energy goals. But innovation isn’t just at
the heart of my department’s agenda.
Driving innovation throughout the UK economy is at the
very heart of the Coalition’s Long Term Economic Plan.
UK has many strength’s in this area and we are delivering some very
it is a pleasure to be here today to open this Briefing and Networking Event on
the LCICGs Strategic Framework: “Coordinating Low Carbon Technology
will hear about some of the detail of this Strategic Framework from Rob later
on but I’d like to make 3 key points here today:
Firstly, innovation is critical to achieving both our
energy goals and sustained UK growth… And we are making significant
investments to support this;
Secondly, genuine partnership is
in Government, industry and academia need to work together to achieve these
Government is helping this happen through the
have a coordinated programme of energy innovation funding that is providing
over £1 billion of support in this Spending Review
- Thirdly, the choices we make now on priorities, funding
and strategy will be critically important.
am keen to work with you in identifying the technologies that will make a real
difference to the UKs energy system and our economic
my first point:
Coalition very much recognises the important role innovation will play in the
long-term future of the UK economy.
Innovation will lead to new technologies, new jobs and
Around 70% of our future economic growth is expected to
come from innovation and the low carbon sector is set to make a major
contribution to this.
and improved low carbon technologies are essential to reduce the cost of energy
for hard-pressed consumers.
innovation here in the UK could help our companies secure a large share of the
that market for low carbon goods and services is potentially
targeting our innovation support and fulfilling our innovation goals we could
save the UK over £100 billion in energy costs to 2050.
example, targeted innovation in energy efficiency alone could lead to savings
worth up to £2,500 for each UK household and business up to 2050.
That’s enough to build 14,000 community hospitals or over 5,000 new
That same investment could generate UK-based business
activity contributing tens of billions of pounds to GDP over the same
This Government has recognised the huge potential of
Despite the challenging economic climate over the past
few years, we have continued to invest in supporting businesses and academics
delivering energy innovation.
this parliament, the members of the LCICG are expected to invest in excess of
£1 billion in support for low carbon innovation. And we continue to
provide additional funding where appropriate.
Just last week the Chancellor announced an additional
£60 million investment in low carbon innovation.
That funding will support advanced carbon capture and
storage technologies that show significant potential to reduce the cost of
low-carbon generation in the UK. This will capitalise on the most promising CCS
technologies coming out of the Government’s current £125 million
CCS Innovation Programme.
to my second point:
Government supports low carbon technology innovation in different ways through
a range of public-sector backed organisations.
This means we can provide the range of support that this
diverse sector needs. But it’s important that this support is
complimentary and well-coordinated. That’s why, 4 years ago, David
Willets and I supported the establishment of the Low Carbon Innovation
Coordination Group. And we have overseen the Group’s work
LCICG brings together the major public-sector backed funders of low carbon
innovation in the UK.
Group aims to enhance the focus, coordination and delivery of government backed
Working together, the Group has supported innovators in
universities, SMEs and industry, in delivering many transformational projects
DECC’s £5 million support to Net
Power’s novel power generation process, aims to help develop a technology
that has the potential to generate electricity substantially cheaper than
existing CCS technologies.
This could be really significant for our long term low
carbon energy objectives.
Off Shore Wind Accelerator is a great example of industry pooling its resources
and working together, with government support, to address common
This £45 million programme is 2 thirds funded by
industry and 1 third funded by DECC, and managed by the Carbon
brings together 9 major off-shore wind developers to identify and support
projects that can drive down the cost of off-shore wind.
These projects have the potential to reduce the cost of
off-shore wind by up to 10%.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC is training the
engineers and scientists that are critical to our future
Energy, they are currently funding 12 Centres for Doctoral Training, involving
over 100 industrial partners. And a further 12 centres have recently been
announced and will start taking students in October this year.
Industry-Industry and Industry-Government partnerships
are key to our collective success.
Energy Technologies Institute shows what can be achieved if companies work in
partnership with each other and with government.
ETI’s 6 private sector members and the government
are together investing up to £60 million a year. And are delivering major
projects that will have a real impact across a range of energy technology
Take, for example, the Marine ReDAPT
This technology initially received Research Council and
Technology Strategy Board support at a smaller scale. ETI funding built on that
in developing into a full scale 1MW tidal turbine project. The technology is
now owned by Alstom who have an MOU to deliver the first four machines to
Scottish Power Renewables in the next couple of years.
support industry the Technology Strategy Board has recently established a
number of Catapult Centres.
Catapults will provide expertise and support structures,
such as testing facilities, will foster collaborations and will help companies
prove and exploit their innovations.
example, the Off-Shore Renewables Catapult is working very closely with Narec,
the Carbon Trust and industry to set up testing and demonstration
new Energy Systems Catapult is being developed for launch in 2015 -
These are just some of the many exciting projects that
the LCICG, industry and academia have supported.
Working together we have achieved a lot in recent years
but we still need to do more.
This brings me to my third and final
Looking forward I am keen to ensure we build on these
effective collaborations and that we target government support to maximum
I was pleased last month to announce the publication of the LCICG’s
Strategic Framework. For the first time, the Framework sets out a coherent,
shared, cross-government strategy and our long-term energy innovation
However, the Framework also makes clear a key challenge
that we face.
Although our economy is on the up, the UK government
alone cannot afford to develop all of the low carbon technologies that we might
address this, we need industry to step-up your activities and find innovative
ways to partner and burden share. As we are successfully doing in the Off-shore
Wind Accelerator and the Energy Technologies Institute.
also need to work more closely with other countries who share the same
we prepare for the next spending round in 2015 we in government will need to
make some tough choices. We will need to target our public-sector
need to focus where we can have the most impact on achieving our energy and
emissions targets and our economic growth objectives.
LCICG members have developed the evidence base and the Strategic Framework to
help make those choices.
we cannot do it alone; we need industry, investors and academics to work with
us to shape the future of energy innovation in the UK.
conclusion, I am thrilled that the LCICG is delivering a clear framework to
support investment for the remainder of the decade.
I’m confident that by working together we can make
the right choices. And ensure we support the innovations necessary to deliver
the cost reductions and business growth opportunities that our energy system
and our country need.