Grants for community renewables

Schools, hospitals and community groups can benefit from grants totalling £13.7 million for community-scale renewable energy projects.

In November 2001, the Policy and Innovation Unit allocated a tenth of a £100 million grants package to small renewables projects (ENDS Report 322, pp 10-11 ). The PIU hoped that this would increase public awareness of renewables and help ease planning difficulties.

Branded as the Clear Skies Initiative, the £10 million is now available for projects in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England the grants complement the Countryside Renewables Initiative established by the Countryside Agency in 2001 to provide advice and organisational support for _community projects (ENDS Report 314, pp 11-12 ).

Similar advice services are being established by the devolved assemblies of Wales and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, the Scottish Executive has launched an integrated package of advice and grants called the Scottish Community Renewables Initiative. It uses additional funding of £3.7 million from the Scottish Executive, the Energy Saving Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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