The government is investing £10m in Partnership for Renewables (PfR), a scheme designed to boost the use of renewable energy in the public sector.
The new venture will partner with private sector organisations to develop onsite renewable energy projects with local authorities, hospitals, and other public sector bodies.
The programme, which is run by the Carbon Trust, plans to have 500MW of renewable energy projects, primarily 3-5MW wind turbine projects, constructed or under development within the next five years. It will be funded by leveraging private sector investment of up to £½bn.
Environment Secretary David Miliband said, ‘500MW of renewable energy is enough to serve the houses of Exeter, Oxford and Norwich and Newcastle combined. That’s the equivalent of 250,000 houses at zero carbon cost to the environment.’
The funding should also help the public sector take advantage of the additional £50m capital grant funding for DTI’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme. It will help the organisations assess how their needs can be met from renewable energy sources and making applications for funding accordingly.
The Carbon Trust’s plans would increase existing wind generation capacity by 25 per cent, and act as a catalyst for the private sector to invest in their own on-site renewable projects.
By potentially saving 175,000 to 190,000 tonnes of carbon each year, it will also help address the threat of climate change and contribute towards the Government’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.