The Anonymous Widower

Landmark Levelling Up Fund To Spark Transformational Change Across The UK

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the UK Government.

These are the four bullet points.

  • More than 100 projects awarded share of £2.1 billion from Round 2 of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund.
  • Projects will benefit millions of people across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and create jobs and boost economic growth.
  • £672 million to develop better transport links, £821 million to kick-start community regeneration and £594 million to restore local heritage sites.
  • Successful bids include Eden Project North in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool, regeneration in Gateshead, and rail improvements in Cornwall

The press release expands the last bullet point.

Projects awarded Levelling Up Fund money today include:

Eden Project North

Eden Project North will receive £50 million to transform a derelict site on Morecambe’s seafront into a world class visitor attraction. It will also kick-start regeneration more widely in Morecambe, creating jobs, supporting tourism and encouraging investment in the seaside town.

Note.

  1. Because of its closeness to the West Coast Main Line, it will have excellent rail connections to all over the North of England and Central and Southern Scotland, through Lancaster, which will only be a shuttle train away.
  2. One of High Speed Two’s direct destinations will be Lancaster, which will be served by High Speed Two by hourly trains to Birmingham, Carlisle, Crewe, London, Preston, Warrington and Wigan and by two-hourly trains to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lockerbie and Motherwell.
  3. London and Lancaster will be a journey of just two hours and three minutes.

I believe that this high quality rail access will ensure the success of the Eden Project North.

Cardiff Crossrail

Cardiff Crossrail has been allocated £50 million from the fund to improve the journey to and from the city and raise the economic performance of the wider region.

The Cardiff Crossrail is obviously a good project from the little that I’ve read about it. But it does need a web site to explain the reasoning behind it.

Blackpool Multiversity

Blackpool Council and Wyre Council will receive £40 million to deliver a new Multiversity, a carbon-neutral, education campus in Blackpool’s Talbot Gateway Central Business District. This historic funding allows Blackpool and The Fylde College to replace their ageing out-of-town centre facilities with world-class state-of-the-art ones in the heart of the town centre. The Multiversity will promote higher-level skills, including automation and artificial intelligence, helping young people secure jobs of the future.

Blackpool certainly needs something.

My suggestion in Blackpool Needs A Diamond, was to build a second Diamond Light Source in the North to complement the successful facility at Harwell.

I don’t think the two proposals are incompatible.

Fair Isle Ferry

Nearly £27 million has been guaranteed for a new roll-on, roll-off ferry for Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands. The service is a lifeline for the island, supporting its residents, visitors and supply chains, and without its replacement the community will become further isolated.

Note.

  1. Will it be a British-built ferry?
  2. Will it be hydrogen-powered?  After all by the time it is built, the Northern Scottish islands will be providing enough of the gas to power a quarter of Germany.
  3. Surely, a hydrogen-powered roll-on, roll-off ferry will be a tourist attraction in its own right.

I hope the Government and the islanders have a good ship-yard lined up

Gateshead Quays And The Sage

A total of £20 million is going towards the regeneration of Gateshead Quays and the Sage, which will include a new arena, exhibition centre, hotels, and other hospitality. The development will attract nearly 800,000 visitors a year and will create more than 1,150 new jobs.

I don’t know much about the Sage, but this project seems very reasonable.

Mid-Cornwall Metro

A £50 million grant will help create a new direct train service, linking 4 of Cornwall’s largest urban areas: Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth/Penryn. This will level up access to jobs, skills, education, and amenities in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the UK.

I wrote about this scheme in The Proposed Mid-Cornwall Metro, where I came to this conclusion.

I believe that a small fleet of Hitachi Regional Battery Trains could create an iconic Metro for Cornwall, that would appeal to both visitors and tourists alike.

Judging by the recent success of reopening the Dartmoor Railway to Okehampton in Devon, I think this scheme could be a big success. But it must be zero-carbon!

Female Changing Rooms For Northern Ireland Rugby

There is £5.1 million to build new female changing rooms in 20 rugby clubs across Northern Ireland.

Given the popularity of the female version of the sport in England, Scotland and Wales, perhaps this is a sensible way to level it up in Northern Ireland. As rugby is an all-Ireland sport, perhaps the Irish have already sorted the South?

January 19, 2023 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Govt Awards Almost GBP 33m To Innovative Energy Storage Projects

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Renewables Now.

This is the first paragraph.

The UK government has awarded GBP 32.9 million (USD 39.7m/EUR 38.3m) in funding to five innovative energy storage projects under the second phase of its Longer Duration Energy Storage competition.

These are the projects.

StorTera

StorTera has secured GBP 5.02 million to create a prototype demonstrator of its single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology.

The company’s main product is the SLIQ Flow Battery, for which it gives the headline of Reliable, Economical Energy For 20 Years.

This is a description of the technology.

The revolutionary StorTera SLIQ single liquid flow battery offers a low cost, high performance energy storage system made with durable components and supported by our flexible and adaptable inverter and control system. The StorTera SLIQ battery brings the following benefits/advantages:

  • Low levelised cost of storage and capital cost
  • Long lifetime of up to 20 years (min. 7,500 cycles)
  • Long duration energy with the energy and power capacity easily and independently scalable
  • Safe with no cooling requirements and high flash point materials
  • Fully recyclable at the end of lifetime

This is said about costs – Using low cost materials and manufacturing techniques, we predict capital costs of approximately £120/kW and £75/kWh by 2022.

I feel there could be something about this technology, but we’ll only know, when the demonstrator is fully working.

Sunamp

Sunamp will get GBP 9.25 million to test its thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK.

On their home page, Sunamp has a banner of World Leading Thermal Technologies, with this description underneath.

Sunamp designs and manufactures space-saving thermal storage that makes UK homes, buildings and vehicles more energy-efficient and sustainable, while reducing carbon emissions and optimising renewables.

They do appear to have sold something, which is always a useful thing to do.

This page on their web site,  describes their Thermino Thermal Storage For Domestic Hot Water, where this is said.

Thousands of Sunamp thermal batteries are already in homes across the UK storing heat from low-carbon energy sources and releasing it for mains-pressure hot water when needed.

Our Thermino batteries replace traditional hot water cylinders – direct (for grid electricity and solar PV) or indirect (for boilers and heat pumps).

They are up to four times smaller than the equivalent hot water tank because they are filled with our energy-dense phase change material, Plentigrade. This means that heat pump systems can be installed where otherwise they wouldn’t fit, for example.

The key seems to be this substance called Plentigrade!

This page on their web site describes Plentigrade.

Under a heading of Storing Energy As Heat And Releasing It When, And Where, It’s Needed, this is said.

Sunamp thermal batteries are energy-saving thermal stores containing Plentigrade: our high-performance phase change materials (PCMs) that deliver heating or cooling reliably, safely and efficiently.

Plentigrade, with its perpetual phase changing ability, is at the core of our products.

Our breakthrough technology was created in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, ranked among the top 20 universities in the world, and the UK’s national synchrotron particle accelerator, Diamond Light Source. To find out more about the chemistry behind Plentigrade, read our blog.

Note.

  1. This product almost looks to be too good to be true.
  2. But I’ve checked and it doesn’t seem to have appeared on Watchdog.
  3. It’s yet another breakthrough, that has used the Diamond Light Source.
  4. How many other developments would happen with a Diamond 2 in the North, as I wrote about in Blackpool Needs A Diamond?

I have a feeling, that my house needs one of Sunamp’s thermal batteries.

University of Sheffield

The article says this about a grant to the University of Sheffield.

The University of Sheffield has been awarded GBP 2.6 million to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system designed to provide optimised, flexible storage of heat within homes.

There are several thermal batteries around for houses.

RheEnergise

The article says this about a grant to RheEnergise.

With a GBP-8.24-million grant, RheEnergise Ltd will build a demonstrator of its High-Density Hydro pumped energy storage system near Plymouth. The technology uses a fluid denser than water to generate electricity from gentle slopes.

I wrote about this in Plan For £8.25m Plymouth Energy Plant To Generate Power From Cream-Like Fluid.

EDF UK R&D

The article says this about a grant to EDF UK R&D.

The government is also backing with GBP 7.73 million an initiative of EDF UK R&D and its partners, the University of Bristol, Urenco and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator using depleted uranium at UKAEA’s Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

I wrote about this in Innovative Hydrogen Energy Storage Project Secures Over £7 million In Funding.

Conclusion

They are a mixed bunch of ideas from around the UK, that I think will produce at least two good winners.

 

December 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Blackpool Needs A Diamond

Every year there are more and more depressing reports about Blackpool and there was another today.

Something dramatic needs to be done.

One of the successful scientific weapons that has been deployed on any number of problems, including the Covid-19 and malaria, has been the impressive Diamond Light Source at Harwell.

When I talk to researchers at universities in the North, they would love to able to use it more, but it is fully booked and getting access is difficult. There is also the travel problem.

I believe that the solution is to build Diamond 2 in the North. And what better place to build it than Blackpool. The city has good rail and tram links and plenty of accommodation.

Now, that’s what I call levelling-up.

November 4, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | 4 Comments