Defra funds clean energy

Defra is to set aside £400m for clean energy technologies, investments and enterprises over the next three years.

Announced in the 2008/09 budget settlement, environment secretary Hilary Benn revealed the boost for the domestic environmental transformation fund (ETF).

As part of the ETF the Carbon Trust will receive £47.4m to develop technologies such as offshore wind, third generation photovoltaic power, marine energy and biomass heating. The extra funding will also be used to increase the Carbon Trust’s energy-saving loans scheme for small and medium sized companies by £12m.

‘Now is the time to act together to tackle climate change and protect our environment,’ said Benn. ‘The government must lead the way by ensuring we are investing in building a low carbon Britain.

‘Defra spending will increase to almost £4bn over the next three years but we must invest wisely. That is why we are focusing our efforts on helping to provide sustainable options for the future as well as supporting and influencing governments, businesses and consumers locally and globally.’

As part of the plans £10m will be provided over the next three years for a new anaerobic digestion demonstration programme. Up to four commercial-scale facilities will be used to show the technology’s potential to create renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut waste being sent to landfill.