Power Generation News – Early November 2021

Rolls-Royce has announced that following a successful equity raise, the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business has been established, to bring forward and deliver at scale the next generation of low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology.

Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited will invest £195m across a period of around three years. The funding will enable the business to secure grant funding of £210 million from UK Research and Innovation funding, first announced by the UK Prime Minister in ‘The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’. The announcement is another step towards the delivery of the Government’s net zero strategy and its 10-point plan.


The Made Smarter Innovation programme, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has launched a new collaborative research and development competition focusing on sustainable smart factories. This funding call presents a huge opportunity to launch a wide range of projects that bring a significant benefit to our planet, helping to achieve net zero.

Consortia of UK registered business and organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million for digital innovation projects that will reduce the carbon emissions of manufacturing processes in factories. The aim of the competition is to support the development of digital innovations to improve the sustainability of manufacturing processes, resulting in either reduced material or reduced energy consumption.

Applications are encouraged from consortia comprising a mix of manufacturing and technology development capabilities working together on innovative developments or novel applications of digital technologies.

Projects can range from £1m to £8m, can run for up to two years, and can tackle themes from reducing in-process material losses to better sequencing manufacturing operations to reduce energy consumption


Just 41% of UK organisations are on track to meet the Government’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to new research released yesterday by Dr Chris Brauer, Goldsmiths, University of London in partnership with Microsoft.

The findings reveal strong ambition and strategic vision on sustainability within UK organisations, but most leaders are struggling to translate that intent into action, with almost three quarters (74%) described as having “one foot in and one foot out” on sustainability.

Based on surveys of 1,707 UK leaders and 2,153 employees, the research report includes insights from leading British organisations, as well as prominent sustainable business experts from across government, industry and academia.

The ambition-action gap has not gone unnoticed by UK workers. According to the survey, the majority (69%) of manufacturing employees feel that environmental sustainability should be a top priority for businesses over the next five years, yet only 22% report that their employer implements their current sustainability plan efficiently.

Tellingly, only 15% of manufacturing employees believe their work premises are as environmentally friendly as their own home. This is important, as 45% of manufacturing employees surveyed said the strength of an organisations’ sustainability plan would impact where they choose to work


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