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UK govt unveils GBP-7.29m funding for carbon-cutting R&D

UK railways. Image by: Steve Jones. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

February 1 (Renewables Now) - The UK government will distribute GBP 1.75 million (USD 2.3m/EUR 2m) in funding to five projects intended to cut carbon emissions from the UK's railways through innovative technologies including solar power and hydrogen.

Each of the successful projects will get GBP 350,000 so as to be adapted to meet the demand of the railway network, the Department for Transport announced on Thursday. Those include the incorporation of solar panels that will directly power trains and a system that uses hydrogen and oxygen to produce steam to power engines.

The funding will be disbursed under the second round of the transport ministry’s First of a Kind (FOAK) competition that aims to support innovative schemes that can cut the railways’ carbon footprint. It was announced just after the Rail Industry Decarbonisation Taskforce published an interim report setting out how the sector could work on a target to cut emissions and remove diesel-only trains from the network by 2040. The report also calls for further investment in alternative projects including bi-modes, hydrogen and battery trains.

“This funding will be vital in helping these fantastic projects adapt to the demands of rail and enable their potential roll-out, delivering a cleaner, healthier network for passengers,” said Rail Minister Andrew Jones.

Separately, some GBP 5.54 million will be allocated to two schemes that will test the potential of using solar at surface-level as part of a GBP-23-million research initiative targeting new surface materials or pothole repair techniques. A project in Buckinghamshire will get GBP 4.49 million for carrying out trials on solar roads and footways and a wind turbine that will generate electricity for street furniture. Another scheme in Central Bedfordshire will receive GBP 1.05 million to test solar power in footways.

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.310/EUR 1.144)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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