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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 12:16 GMT
Government offer 'green grants'
Wind turbines
Almost 5% of electricity used is generated fro renewable resources
Details of a multi-million pound scheme to promote renewable energy in Northern Ireland have been announced.

NI Secretary Peter Hain said almost 60m has been set aside for the scheme.

The scheme includes grants worth up to 50% for homeowners to install items such as solar heating and systems for geothermal energy.

"This 59m fund will help NI harness the natural resources all around us to provide heat and power and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," he said.

As part of the scheme, solar hot water systems will be installed in hundreds of Housing Executive homes.

The Warm Homes Scheme, which provides energy efficiency measures for those in fuel poverty, will also receive more than 9m in additional funding.

At government level, the fund will result in the Stormont estate being powered by a new biomass plant and the integration of solar energy systems on other government buildings.

It will also lead to enhanced energy efficiency measures in public sector buildings, with an emphasis on schools.

There will also be a programme of research into the potential for energy crops, waste and geothermal resources to generate heat and electricity.

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11 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
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