New funding for clean technology announced

The government has announced a fund of £36m for clean energy innovation and technology for the construction sector as part of a new centre at Swansea University in Wales.

The fund was announced this week by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, during his visit to Swansea University and will be used to support the use of innovative building materials that generate electricity. These materials could replace walls, roofs and windows and will generate electricity, store it and release it when needed. Excess can then be sold back to the National Grid. The aim is to reduce the energy use of new buildings by half by 2030.

Hammond pointed out that the university and local companies that are working on this technology are world leaders in clean tech and could deliver jobs across the country. The funding, he says, can be used to support the technology that will lead to reduced energy bills, reduced carbon emissions and better homes and workspaces.

The fund will be administered through the Transforming Construction part of the government's Industrial Strategy and will give more certainty to researchers and attract more investment in this area.

This is part of the biggest increase in research and development for the last 40 years which has so far amounted to £7bn since 2016. The aim of the government is to raise enough investment in these types of technologies to make them 2.4% of the UK’s GDP by 2027.

The funding is still subject to the agreement on the governance of the new centre.