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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 03:34 GMT
Funds to promote renewable energy
Wind turbine
Funds will hep communities generate their own energy
A 30m funding package aimed at promoting renewable electricity sources and reducing carbon emissions is to be unveiled by the energy minister.

Local community projects and individuals will be given funding to generate their own electricity.

Labour MP Malcolm Wicks will reveal the details later at the launch of the Energy Futures Lab in London.

He said individuals and communities could "make their own contribution to tackling climate change".

The minister said the funding would enable "the installation of microgeneration products such as micro-turbines, solar panels and air source heat pumps".

The announcement of the extra funding, which will go to the Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) over the next three years, comes amid fears that some industrial sectors could face gas shortages this winter.

I am convinced there is a great deal more to be done to encourage changes in behaviour which can really make a difference to energy consumption
Vincent de Rivaz
EDF Energy

Last week Mr Wicks said some heavy energy users, such as chemical companies, might have to cut back if the winter is colder than average, putting supplies under pressure.

Gas is already increasingly being imported into Britain amid diminishing domestic supplies.

Meanwhile, oil and gas prices continue to rise.

"The installation of microgeneration products....are an excellent way for individuals, communities and businesses to make their own contribution to tackling climate change," said Mr Wicks.

'Silver bullet'

He went on: "As these become more widespread they can help to teach children and future generations about the benefits of renewable energy and the need to use our resources more responsibly."

Shell, EDF Energy, SSE and Scottish Power are among the companies to have all been called upon to support the microgeneration sector.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, who has backed the proposals, said: "There is no silver bullet for dealing with the challenge posed by climate change. Energy efficiency will be vital.

"I am convinced there is a great deal more to be done to encourage changes in behaviour which can really make a difference to energy consumption."

Grant programme

Philip Wolfe, chief executive of the Renewable Power Association, echoed these sentiments.

He said: "Mass market renewables provide an important new dimension to the sustainable energy mix and the best way of engaging the public on this issue."

The government hopes to remove barriers the currently hinder the development of a sustainable market for microgeneration products.

Solar schemes at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Bugle Village Hall in Cornwall are just two of 15 projects to receive grants from a total fund of 1.09m under a grant programme already in place.

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