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Government launches grant scheme for renewable energy projects

Government launches grant scheme for renewable energy projects

Government launches grant scheme for renewable energy projects

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has announced the launch of the Urban Community Energy Fund.

This offers community groups in England the opportunity to bid for grants of up to £20,000, or loans of up to £130,000, all in support of projects that bring renewable power to local areas.

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey unveiled the £10 million fund - and it was noted that there are a variety of ways in which communities can embark on eligible projects.

For instance, power hubs can be created in the area, or anaerobic digestion plants can be built to create energy from local waste to save money, while local buildings and factories can contribute to their own power requirements by having solar panels fitted on the roofs of their premises.

As part of the announcement, a raft of changes have been made to the Feed in Tariff (FIT) Scheme. These include allowing registered charities the same benefits as other community groups for the first time.

Either two community projects - or one project with a related commercial endeavour - each generating up to five MW of power will now be able to share a single grid connection and receive separate FITs. These will also be guaranteed for an extra six months in the hope of granting communities more time to get their project up and running.

Policy director of Community Energy England Kathy Smyth welcomed these developments, suggesting it would serve to stimulate further private investment in small communities up and down the country.

"It will be a great boost to projects using the split ownership model under the voluntary protocol for Shared Community Ownership," she commented.

Mr Davey said: "I want to give more people the power to generate their own electricity and by supporting community energy projects we can - helping them drive down their energy bills at the same time."

"That's why we've pledged £10 million, so communities can play their part in generating renewable power at a local level," the minister continued, adding: "This is all about investing in renewable energy sources, creating jobs and changing the way renewable energy is developed in the UK."

DECC recently carried out a survey on public attitudes - and this uncovered an extensive degree of support for renewable power. It was specified that 78 per cent of the UK adult population back this form of energy generation above any other.

Businesses can tap into this popular attitude by endeavouring to reduce their carbon footprint and become as environmentally friendly as they possibly can. Careful management of power use is one way of doing this, although there are many other considerations that can also make a positive contribution to this approach.

Switching to eco-friendly professional cleaning services is one such action - and Aurora offers this type of service. Only biodegradable and carbon free products are used by us, which will undoubtedly minimise the carbon footprint of any given firm.

 

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of Allstar