The Challenge was launched in October 2018 by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Natural Resources Canada.
The Power Forward Challenge is a 30-month long transatlantic competition for Canadian and British innovators to create new smart technology solutions for power grids, with both governments jointly funding a prize pool of £11 million.
This competition will support emerging energy technologies that promote energy efficiency, the integration of renewables and storage technologies, smart network solutions, and clean growth and competitiveness. These solutions are crucial to the decarbonisation of both countries’ energy systems, ensuring a secure supply of low cost, low carbon energy, whilst providing wider economic benefits like job creation.
The Power Forward Challenge will award six teams up to £1.8 million each to demonstrate solutions that can best integrate diverse energy resources into the existing grid in the most flexible, reliable and secure way. BEIS will fund the selected UK-based demonstration projects and Natural Resources Canada is funding projects based in Canada. To be eligible for demonstration funding each team must include both British and Canadian innovators. A further £600,000 prize money is on offer for the best pilot demonstration overall.
This initiative will help to link clean technology companies in Canada and the U.K., creating new economic opportunities for innovators in both countries and support competitiveness for smart grid technologies to 2030 and beyond.
David Aitken, Director, Innovation, at the Carbon Trust, said:
“The change to a more dynamic energy system will need to be underpinned by a new generation of smart, flexible technologies and innovative business models. This kind of funding is crucial to help develop these technologies to future-proof our energy system, as well as create international business opportunities for UK companies.”