UK creates £1.5M fund to support carbon-reducing AI projects

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The UK Government has launched a £1.5 million programme to support the use of AI to reduce carbon emissions.

“The UK is one of the world’s most advanced AI economies, and AI technology is already having a transformative impact on our economy and society,” said UK Science Minister George Freeman.

“But there is tremendous potential to do more.”

The AI for Decarbonisation programme is part of the wider £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio that aims to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models.

AI for Decarbonisation will consist of two initial stages:

  • Stage one will provide up to £500,000 of funds to create a virtual centre of excellence on AI innovation and decarbonisation through March 2025.
  • Stage two is where the remaining £1 million will be used to fund innovative AI-powered decarbonisation projects.

The AI for Decarbonisation programme offers an exciting opportunity to leverage and develop the UK’s outstanding expertise in the field,” adds Freeman.

“Putting this rapidly-evolving technology into action will enable us to save energy costs for businesses and households, create high-value, skilled jobs, and kickstart millions of pounds of private investment while supporting our net-zero targets.”

The UK is seeking to increase its energy independence following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the weaponisation of supplies.

New energy infrastructure to increase supply will take a long time to build, so reducing demand in the meantime is vital. Improving the insulation of homes and businesses while using technologies like AI to optimise processes are two leading solutions.

Specifically encouraged to bid for funding are AI projects that enable a faster transition to renewable energy, decarbonise industry by improving energy productivity and fuel switching, and decrease emissions in the agricultural sector. 

The programme opens for applications on 22 November 2022 and closes on 19 January 2022.

(Photo by Martin Sepion on Unsplash)

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