Britons to Gamble on Renewable Energy

The national lottery in Britain will provide £50 million for green energy, and the Department of Trade & Industry will allocate another £55.5 million for research and development of renewable energy.

LONDON, UK, 2001-03-19 <SolarAccess.com> “This money emphasizes the government’s commitment to bringing green energy into the mainstream,” says Energy minister Peter Hain. “The government is doing everything it can to help industry meet our target of supplying 10 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010.” The Lottery Funding for renewable energy is part of a £1.5 billion boost to sport, health and the environment. The New Opportunities Fund was established as a lottery distributor by the National Lottery Act 1998, to fund new projects in health, education, and the environment which are additional to core Government expenditure. The money will provide support for offshore wind, energy crops, small scale biomass and cogeneration (combined heat & power) schemes. At least £33 million will construct plants that use energy crops, £10 million of capital grants for offshore wind, £3 million for small scale biomass heating and cogeneration, and the remaining £4 million will provide flexibility in responding to proposals. The £55.5 million from DTI is available for three years. The funding covers a wide range of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, hydro and biofuels. It also covers research into new technologies such as fuel cells. With these announcements, the British government says it now supports renewables to the total of £250 million over the next three years. Other initiatives include DTI’s £39 million support for offshore wind announced by the Prime Minister last October, £100 million for green energy announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, and MAFF’s £12 million in grants for planting energy crops. “With the introduction of the Renewables Obligation, the government will be establishing an assured market for renewables for the next 25 years,” says Hain. “Government is now proposing a very substantial injection of capital grants for offshore wind and energy crops projects. It will provide grants to green energy companies to help fund the cost of plant construction.” “The government is determined to bring offshore wind and energy crops projects from the demonstration stage into full commercial development,” he adds. “The Prime Minister’s announcement 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 government announced its proposals for the Renewables Obligation last October. That initiative ensures that electricity supply companies buy electricity from renewables generators until 2026.

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