Ofgem Round 2: Discovery

This competition is delivered in partnership with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem). It is funded by the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund, which aims to deliver net zero at lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.

Funding Details
When

Registration Opens

05/09/2022

Registration Closes

23/11/2022

Award

Projects can range in size up to total eligible costs of £150,000, exclusive of VAT.

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

There are 4 challenge competitions in Discovery Phase:

  1. Ofgem Round 2: Supporting a just energy transition
  2. Ofgem Round 2: Preparing for a net zero power system
  3. Ofgem Round 2: Improving energy system resilience and robustness
  4. Ofgem Round 2: Accelerating decarbonisation of major energy demands

The project lead must be an Ofgem licensed electricity or gas distribution network, transmission operator, or electricity system operator (ESO), and there are specific partnership requirements detailed in each strand; other project partners are encouraged. If you are not an Ofgem licensee but would like to collaborate on a project for this competition, please contact Chris Bagley, head of our Infrastructure and Energy team, to start the process of connecting with potential collaborators and eligible licensees. Ofgem are looking for proposals that involve all the necessary stakeholders relevant to the proposed innovation, and particularly encourage projects working with suitable SME technology developers and growth companies.

It is the responsibility of the lead applicant to ensure that they are entering the appropriate challenge competition for their project.

Your Discovery Phase Project must last up to three months and have a total requested funding of no more than £150,000, exclusive of VAT. A total of up to £12 million exclusive of VAT is allocated to the Discovery Phase across the 4 challenges.

Successful applicants from the Discovery Phase will be invited to apply for the Alpha Phase, which will focus on preparing and testing the different solutions to the problem identified during the Discovery Phase ahead of any future large-scale demonstration of the project, and expected to then pursue commercialisation of their solution by completion of the Beta Phase. Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise.

(The Alpha and Beta phases are only open to projects which have successfully completed the Discovery phase.)

Your project must:

  • have total eligible Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) requested funding of no more than £150,000, exclusive of VAT
  • provide a minimum of 10% of total project costs as a compulsory contribution from alternative funds
  • start by 1 April 2023
  • end by 30 June 2023
  • last up to 3 months

Scope

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

This can include decarbonising gas and electric energy distribution, transmission networks and benefit the consumer. These projects should help shape the future of the gas and electricity networks and succeed commercially where possible.

Strand 1 – Supporting a just energy transition

The aims of this competition are to

  • improve coordination between networks and other stakeholders with remit and responsibility for consumer service provision for more targeted and joined-up support
  • significantly progress the understanding of consumer vulnerability in the context of energy networks and net zero transition and develop robust strategies to support these consumers
  • significantly narrow the gap between consumer segments in terms of ease, accessibility, and cost effectiveness of decarbonisation solutions relevant to energy networks
  • adapt and improve existing decarbonisation solutions and approaches to work better, considering different vulnerability factors

Your project must focus on and address at least one of these areas:

  • novel and replicable approaches for better identification, support, and inclusion of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers
  • supporting the decarbonisation of heat and mobility for rural, off gas grid, fuel poor and those consumer groups with reduced access to opportunities for decarbonisation

Strand 2 – Preparing for a net zero power system

The aims of this competition are to:

  • develop innovations in technology, markets and standards that help the power system be ready for net zero by 2035
  • develop evidence on the technical and commercial capability of new assets to provide power stability services
  • support the system integration of novel assets including the necessary digital interfaces and their market accessibility to help increase the pool of resources providing system stability services ahead of 2035

Your project must focus on and address at least one of these areas:

  • novel ways to reliably support low stability systems
  • accessing grid or system support from novel supply and demand side sources

Strand 3 – Improving energy system resilience and robustness

The aims of this competition are to:

  • incorporate resilience and robustness as key and measurable considerations into future multi-energy system design
  • develop technical, organisational and commercial innovation including using novel multi-energy system configurations for increasing system resilience
  • improve understanding of trade-offs between increasing resilience, robustness and the cost implications and consumer trust and acceptability in the context of a net zero transition
  • improve understanding of robustness in future energy system configurations and develop solutions to improve and strengthen it

Your project must focus on and address at least one of these areas:

  • novel approaches to improving resilience using multi-energy systems
  • strengthening the UK’s energy system robustness to support efficient roll out of new infrastructure

Strand 4 – Accelerating decarbonisation of major energy demands

The aims of this competition are to:

  • develop technical, social, economic or political approaches to integrated planning and connecting decarbonised heat and transport demand that reduces overall costs and timescales
  • integrate energy efficiency together with flexibility to reduce costs of connecting and operating decarbonised heat and transport demands
  • demonstrate coordination between flexibility, energy efficiency and regional or local energy planning activities that reduce costs and improves consumer experience for decarbonisation

Your project must focus on and address at least one of the following themes:

  • Theme 1: approaches to effectively facilitate, manage, and integrate multiple demands and demand-side solutions, for example, heat and transport, flexibility or energy demand reduction
  • Theme 2: integrating heat networks for wider energy network management
  • Theme 3: improving efficiency at different levels in the energy system, for example, loss reduction across networks, assessing and realising value of demand reduction to the energy network

For more detail on the scope of each strand, see the links below.

If you would like further information, or to be connected with potential collaborators, please contact Chris Bagley, head of Energy and Infrastructure at Innovate UK KTN.