British Funding for Renewables Singles Offshore Wind

British prime minister Tony Blair says he is “determined” to reach the target of meeting 10 percent of the country’s electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2010.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-11-16 [SolarAccess.com] A report from the government’s Performance & Innovation Unit recommends how to spend the £100 million for renewable energy that was announced in March. The largest single allocation would be £25 million for offshore wind development, where Britain has significant resources, noting that ‘first movers’ will need carefully targeted support to take them through the challenging early stages. The PIU recommends £20 million in support for solar PV, to be split between increased support for innovative PV installations and money for systems that can be used directly on homes and businesses. A further £15 million should help farmers and foresters to establish energy crops in Britain for both thermal and electric applications. The report calls for £10 million to be allocated for fundamental research on next generation of renewable energy technologies such as energy storage, and £5 million for demonstration and testing of wave and tidal technologies. Another £4 million would be allocated for advanced metering and control technologies, so electricity grids can benefit from PV and small-scale technologies, and £18 million would go to develop and apply advanced energy crop technologies for production of heat and electricity, such as gasification based CHP cogeneration systems. It recommends that £2.5 million be allocated to provide information and support to planners and local decision-makers, and general land-use planning purposes. “This money will help us reach that (renewables) target by encouraging the delivering of capacity on the ground,” says Blair. “I also welcome the funding for solar, wave and tidal technologies, and on blue skies research, which have such a vital role to play in helping us meet our medium and long term renewable energy needs.” The PIU worked with a number of government departments to produce the detailed analysis that underpins the allocation of the £100 million. The study supplements the government’s wider Energy Review, which is working on the future of renewables in the context of a wide-ranging analysis of energy needs.
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