With the results of the recent election seeming to pose more questions than it answered, now’s the time for the UK’s government – whoever that might end up incorporating – to put waste management and green-tech at the top of its agenda.
The UK is rightly regarded as a global leader when it comes to innovations in sustainability and renewable technologies, but continued investment is needed if we are to maintain this position – and meet stringent 2020 targets for renewable energy production.
The HERU is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with government support. Earlier this year, we received financial backing from the government via its Innovate Energy Game Changer Fund. This investment has helped us finance further development and trials of the technology, taking it a step closer to production.
However, it feels like sustainability has once again slipped down the political agenda. If we are to meet the 2020 targets, we need to find solutions – and fast.
Crucially, the government must revaluate its current approach to waste, understanding its inherent value – and how it can be best utilised.
It’s also clear that we need better infrastructure in place to ensure that innovation and innovators are encouraged to bring their ideas to market. The Innovate Energy Game Changer Fund is a fantastic example of this, and I’d like to see more companies look at how they can take advantage of it.
Whoever ends up forming the new government will have myriad priorities as soon as they assume office, and sustainability should absolutely be one of them. There’s real potential for the UK to become a hub of innovation excellence when it comes to sustainable technology, but it will need sustained governmental support, in the form of legislation, decreased red-tape and financial incentives, if it is to come to fruition.