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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Over £20 million funding awarded across 20 game changing net zero technologies

11 October 2022 5 minute read
  • Over £20 million awarded to net zero technologies as part of NZTC’s 2022 open innovation programme, £8 million from NZTC and over £12 million co-funded by industry
  • The 20 winning technologies fall into seven focus areas to accelerate clean energy production and close the gap in net zero technologies

The Net Zero Technology Centre has today [10 October 2022] announced the 20 winners of its 2022 Open Innovation Programme. The funding competition this year focused on developing and deploying technologies that will reduce offshore emissions, accelerate clean energy production, and enable delivery of the UK’s net zero ambitions.

A total of 154 businesses from across the globe applied for a share of £8 million available, with the potential of a maximum of £1 million awarded to each successful project. The game changing technologies were put through a rigorous selection process ensuring each supports the transition towards net zero, with an obligation of trialling and deploying technology within the UK continental shelf. The 20 successful technology projects will deliver £7.8bn GVA along with an impact of 3.1Mt CO2e annually.  

As well as funding, the technology developers gain access to data, facilities, and technical expertise from industry.

The winning technologies fall into seven focus areas:

  • Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS)
  • Hydrogen and clean fuels
  • Renewables and energy storage
  • Zero emissions power
  • Venting and flaring
  • Integrity management
  • Late life and decommissioning

The announcement follows the recent launch of the ‘Technology driving green energy growth’ report published by the Technology Leadership Board, NZTC, and Accenture. The report sets out robust recommendations detailing how rapid investment in technology innovation can help enable the delivery of the North Sea Transition Deal’s (NSTD) emissions targets and the creation of a net-zero energy system in the North Sea.

The winning ideas are set to help meet the goals of the report and develop high value, high impact opportunities for Scotland and the UK.  Emerging electrolyser technologies and materials will advance reducing the cost of green hydrogen by 60%; whilst novel optical sensors to prevent corrosion in carbon capture and storage operations will support the UK to expand the CCS market.  One of the successful projects will trial geothermal techniques in the field and another will use liquid air battery innovations to accelerate an integrated energy system. 

NZTC’s next funding competition, due to open in January 2023, will focus on digital and data architecture, smart assets and field automation.

Myrtle Dawes, Solution Centre Director, Net Zero Technology Centre commented:

“We’re at a pivotal point in the energy transition, with political and social pressures weighing as heavy as environmental demands.

“The technology ideas we received were diverse, credible and exciting, making the selection process tough. There is no single solution to achieving net zero so nurturing innovation is key to establishing an integrated energy system. We are investing in the areas where we know technology gaps exist and where the opportunity is substantial in accelerating the energy transition.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said:

“Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 Open Innovation Programme. This pioneering research and technology will pave the way to a sustainable energy future for the UK and the world.

“The UK Government is investing £90m in the Net Zero Technology Centre to build upon North East Scotland’s wealth of expertise in the industry.”

About the winning technologies: 

Company​Technology Idea​Technology detail​
Late Life and Decom​  
1. CeraPhi Energy ​Turning Oil and Gas liabilities into geothermal assets for net zero energy​Onshore field trial/ demonstration of heat and energy production via geothermal techniques​
2. Welldecommissioned​Optimised Decommissioning as a stepping stone into the Energy Transition​AI based software solution for use in the planning and optimisation of decommissioning activities​
3. Sulmara​Remote data acquisition & intelligence service for offshore energy decommissioning​A fully unmanned over the horizon surface vessel capable of gathering data real time via an onshore remote command centre​
Well Integrity  
4. isol8​Eternal Barrier Material Development ​Composite alloy barrier material (AlloyCrete) providing long-term well integrity assurance​
5. Pipetech​Downhole Scale Remediation ​Scale remediation tool for the cleaning of hydrocarbon wells​
Integrity Management – CUI​ 
6. Copsys Technologies ​Eliminating CUI with Copsys Intelligent Digital Skin​Intelligent Digital Skin paint-based technology used to detect and locate CUI​
7. SubTeraNDT ​Advancing an intelligent CUI and moisture pipeline inspection sensor ​Handheld Millimetre Wave Corrosion Under Insulation Inspection System ​
8. Advance Hall Sensors ​Novel Magneto-imaging system for CUI mapping​QWHE Camera providing high resolution, non-contact magnetic imaging of corrosion under insulation​
Venting & Flaring​  
9. Expro​Real-Time Flare Emissions Measurement and Control​Development and field trial of a real time flare emissions measurement and control system​
10. Expro​SmarTest flare-free closed chamber formation testing​Downhole telemetry system used for the collection of reservoir data and fluid samples​
Zero Emissions Power​  
11. HiiROC in partnership with Centrica​Decarbonising Gas Peakers through Hydrogen and Showcasing CO2 Sequestration through Solid Carbon  Integration & demonstration of the HiiROC H2 production system into an existing ‘gas peaking’ plant (Centrica Brigg)​
12. Innovatium Group ​PRISMA Liquid Air Battery​Liquid Air Battery combining compressed air production and energy storage in the form of highly energy dense liquified air​
13. Enertechnos Ltd ​Marinisation of Capacitive Transfer System Cable for use in the Electrification of the North Sea​Subsea power cable for use in offshore windfarms​
14. Ceimig​Development and testing of supported iridium catalysts for PEMWE electrodes​Development of a substrate to reduce the amount of iridium required for polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEM) ​
15. Oort Energy​HyPX2 – High-performance, high-pressure electrolysis and compression​Development of an integrated electrolyser and electrochemical compression stack for green hydrogen production​
16. B9 Technologies ​Demo of a high-efficiency Flow-Field Electrolyser for low-cost hydrogen production​Development & validation of the B9 Flow-Field Electrolyser stack​
17. Ai Exploration​Novel Optical Sensors to Prevent Corrosion in Carbon Capture and Storage Operations​Multispectral imaging corrosion sensor in CCS environmental conditions​​
18. Pace CCS Ltd​Predicting corrosive aqueous phase liquids in CCS pipelines induced by polar impurities​Software/ modelling system to predict the corrosion risk to CCS pipelines​
19. Heriot-Watt University​Risk-based, Well Decommissioning Modelling Framework to CCUS Applications​Modelling tool to analyse and predict the leakage wells in CCS fields​
20. WesternGeco​The use if surface DAS & adaptive monitoring to reduce CO2 plume monitoring​A passive seismic and surface deployed distributed acoustic sensing monitoring system for CCUS applications​

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