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Ofgem Round 3: Call for Ideas

Fund Name

Ofgem Round 3: Call for Ideas

Project Length

3 months - 5 years

Project Value

£150k - £10m

Deadline

11.08.2023

This Call for Ideas forms part of a programme delivered with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) in partnership with Innovate UK. This alignment enhances the programme’s ability to contribute to Government’s net zero objectives, while allowing it to remain dynamic, flexible and joined up with Government, industry and consumers.

Ideas which advance through this process and develop into a project proposal led by an Energy Network may be offered the opportunity to seek funding from the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The fund aims to deliver net zero at the lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) aims to deliver net zero at the lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.

This includes decarbonising gas and electric energy distribution, transmission networks and benefits to the consumer. SIF projects should help shape the future of the gas and electricity networks and succeed commercially where possible.

SIF-funded projects must aim to reduce costs for consumers and carbon emissions while improving access to revenues and markets. This will also incentivise the creation of new products, processes and services, linking into the themes for each challenge.

The Challenges for SIF Round 3 are:

  • Challenge 1: Whole system network planning and utilisation to facilitate faster and cheaper network transformation and asset rollout
  • Challenge 2: Novel technical and market approaches to deliver an equitable and secure net zero power system
  • Challenge 3: Unlocking energy system flexibility to accelerate the electrification of heat
  • Challenge 4: Enabling Power-to-gas (P2G) to provide system flexibility and energy network optimisation

Within each challenge, there are specific themes. Your proposal must meet one of these themes for your selected challenge.

Challenge 1 themes:

  • Digital simulation and advanced modelling techniques to facilitate whole system network planning and development
  • Leveraging data, digital tools, and novel commercial arrangements to maximise existing network capacity
  • Reducing network connection times through the use of demand and supply side flexibility
  • Supporting consumers to make cost-effective decarbonisation choices coordinated with the wider local area or regional plans

Challenge 2 themes:

  • Novel market and technical approaches to cost-effectively minimise renewable energy curtailment
  • Leveraging disruptive computing technologies for improving system visibility, performance, and cyber-security.
  • Effectively managing peak demand and stability through increased flexibility including over longer time periods (multi-day and seasonal).
  • Enabling disadvantaged consumer segments to participate in flexibility markets and benefit from novel low-carbon technologies, to make more cost-effective
  • choices for low-carbon technologies

Challenge 3 themes:

  • Improving local heat supply and demand analysis and coordination to support energy network planning
  • Improving the value and capture of system benefits from heat flexibility
  • Effectively managing peak demand and stability through increased flexibility including over longer periods (multi-day and seasonal)
  • Equitable approaches to reinforcement costs driven by heat electrification including improving the visibility of constraints

Challenge 4 themes:

  • Optimising electrolyser deployment and operation to unlock the whole system value
  • Commercial and technical innovation to secure system benefits from hydrogen storage deployments

This Call for Ideas is open to proposals for any social, regulatory, market, legal or technical innovation that aligns with the challenges and related themes identified and is within the remit of the Energy Networks. Proposals can be related to a product, process or service.

Eligibility

Your submitted proposal must:

  • intend to carry out its project work in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales)
  • intend to exploit the results from or in Great Britain
  • outline network customer benefits
  • include a unique selling proposition
  • detail the types of Networks you wish to be involved with
  • highlight which challenge and theme your idea addresses

The future funded opportunities for SIF Round 3 have different phases:

  • Discovery Phase: projects must last up to three months and have a total requested funding of no more than £150,000, exclusive of VAT
  • Alpha Phase: projects must last up to six months and have a total requested funding of no more than £500,000, exclusive of VAT
  • Beta Phase: projects must last up to five years and have a total requested funding of no more than £10 million, exclusive of VAT, total costs and funding requests of more than this may be considered on a case-by-case basis

A minimum of 10% compulsory contribution is also expected at each stage.

Funding

A total of up to £450 million exclusive of VAT is allocated to the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) until 2026.

This opportunity is a Call for Ideas and does not guarantee a proposal will be taken forward. There is no funding available for this Call for Ideas.

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