Double boost for green initiatives

Green energy initiatives in the UK received a boost today with the announcement that up to £105 million will be made available from the National Lottery and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Peter Hain, the UK’s Energy Minister, has announced a £55.5 million Department of Trade and Industry renewable energy research and development programme and welcomed a £50 million National Lottery boost for green energy initiatives.

According to a statement from the Department of Trade and Industry, the lottery money will provide support for offshore wind, energy crops, small-scale biomass and Combined Heat and Power Schemes (CHP).

At least £33 million will go towards constructing plants that will use energy crops; £10 million will form capital grants for offshore wind farms; £3 million will provide for small scale biomass heating and CHP; and the remaining £4 million will provide some flexibility in responding to proposals.

The news means that UK Government support for renewables has now been boosted to over £250 million over the next three years.

The UK Government also recently announced that it would establish the UK as a credible player in the solar energy market, alongside Germany and Japan. It will particularly concentrate on social housing refurbishment where photo-voltaic energy devices can help alleviate fuel poverty.

‘The Government is determined to bring offshore wind and energy crops projects from the demonstration stage into full commercial development,’ said Mr Hain. ‘This money emphasises the Government’s commitment to bringing green energy into the mainstream. The Government is doing everything it canto help industry meet our target of supplying 10 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

‘The Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week of a further £100 million for renewable energy will take the Government’s support for green energy to over £250 million over the next three years and bring real dividends in protecting the environment.’

The DTI’s £55.5m for industry renewable energy research and development also announced today would be available over the next three years.

The funding from this budget is said to cover a wide range of renewable energy technologies such as wind energy, hydro, solar and biofuels. It is also said to cover research and development into new technologies such as fuel cells.

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