Canada and UK unveils $30 million initiative for next-gen technologies


The Canadian and UK governments have launched a 30-month transatlantic competition for innovators to create next-generation smart energy solutions.

The $20 million Power Forward Challenge aims to come up with new solutions to enhance grid modernisation, encourage energy efficiency and expand integration of distributed renewable energy resources.

Natural Resources Canada and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the UK are each putting forward $10 million for the challenge

The project will increase grid resilience and create good middle-class jobs, as well as promote sustainable economic growth and competitiveness.

Technologies to be developed will expand adoption of electric vehicles, increase reliance on smart devices and expand energy storage systems to mitigate the effects of unexpected outages caused by weather events, according to a statement.

A total of six teams will be awarded up to $3 million to demonstrate solutions that can best integrate diverse energy resources into the existing grid in the most flexible, reliable and secure way. The team with the highest-performing technology will be awarded an additional $1 million.

The Power Forward Challenge is the third of five clean technology challenges under Natural Resources Canada’s Cleantech Impact programme.

Cleantech Impact is investing $75 million over four years in the five challenges.

“Technology is affording us an unprecedented opportunity to create a smarter, more resilient energy system. Canada is investing in smart grid technology and working with industry — in Canada and in the United Kingdom — to build cleaner, safer, better-connected electricity systems that will also create well-paying jobs for middle-class Canadians,” Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy — with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs. I’m delighted to see how many more initiatives such as the Power Forward Challenge are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change,” Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom.