15 August 2023: The UK government has revealed a multi-million-pound infusion of funds into Artificial Intelligence (AI) aimed at revolutionising the manner in which various sectors reduce their carbon emissions.
Twelve eco-friendly AI projects are set to be granted a portion of £1 million in order to reduce carbon emissions and enhance the production of renewable energy. These efforts will play a part in achieving the nation's ambitious target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
The programmes include everything from solar energy upgrades that utilise AI to better predict when it will produce energy for the grid to decarbonising dairy farms by using AI robots to monitor crop and soil health.
Furthermore, an additional sum of £2.25 million will be allocated by the government to promote additional advancements in AI technology. The primary objective of this funding is to reduce emissions, focusing specifically on the energy industries. This contribution is a component of the government's larger £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, solidifying the UK's leading role in both AI development and the reduction of carbon emissions.
Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan said in a government press release, ‘‘We are unquestionably world-leading when it comes to advanced AI and our track record for decarbonisation. This unique position means we must now push the boundaries in how this technology can enhance our rapidly-growing clean energy sector.’’
He also added, ‘‘It’s projects like those announced today that will take us to the next step on our ambitious journey to becoming net zero, while boosting our energy security and creating a new wave of skilled jobs for the future.’’
The funding of up to £500,000 has been granted to the Digital Catapult agency, a branch of Innovate UK that assists businesses in developing their concepts. As part of this, they have established the UK's inaugural Center for Excellence focused on utilising AI innovation to drive decarbonisation efforts, known as ADViCE. Through this initiative, a digital platform will be established, serving as a collaborative space for enterprises, scholars, and specialists to collaborate on research and development of AI-driven strategies aimed at reducing emissions within various industries.
The integration of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) solutions is set to catalyse the process of industrial decarbonisation, propelling various sectors towards a greener and more sustainable future. With this significant investment, the path to net zero becomes not just a vision, but an actionable reality, demonstrating the power of technology and innovation in shaping a cleaner tomorrow.