Bio-energy grant fund

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A £4m fund to support the installation of biomass-fuelled heating and combined heat and power projects was opened to applications today.

A £4m fund to support the installation of biomass-fuelled heating and combined heat and power projects, including anaerobic digesters, was opened to applications today.

Applications are welcome from industrial, commercial and community sectors. This encompasses public and private limited companies, from smaller businesses like pubs, clubs, shops or farms, to offices, golf courses, recycling centres, supermarkets and stately homes, right up to larger businesses like breweries, food processing companies and airports.

Applicants from the community sector can include schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, local authorities, housing associations and charities.

It is not aimed at householders or individuals who should consider the Low Carbon Buildings Programme administered by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

'We have to take serious steps to tackle climate change by reducing our carbon footprint. As almost half of our CO2 emissions are the result of heating buildings or water or for industrial processes, switching our dependence on fossil fuels to more energy efficient equipment makes sense,' said climate change minister, Phil Woolas.

'Funding to support the installation of biomass-fuelled heat boilers and combined heat and power plants can really make a difference and I invite all those who are eligible to apply.'

Full details, including the guidance notes and application forms, are available on the Bio-energy Capital Grants Scheme website at

The grant will be administered by AEA Energy and Environment, part of AEA Technology, and the maximum single award is £100,000 per installation.

The news was welcomed by One NorthEast, who have identified renewable energy as an important growth industry for the region over the next 10 years. The development agency works with businesses across the regions to be smarter in the use of energy, drive down fuel bills and reduce the impact of industry on the environment.

A current scheme is the Energy Resource Efficiency (ERE) programme, run by industry experts who work with firms to understand energy use and find ways to improve current systems.

One NorthEast energy and environment manager Ray Thompson said: ‘Rising energy bills and responsibility for your carbon footprint are burning issues for business. This grant will provide additional assistance to firms looking to tackle these important concerns and will further complement a number of other projects we already have in the region.’