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Saturday, 27 April, 2002, 03:33 GMT 04:33 UK
Grants for solar-powered homes
solar panels on roof of house
Only about 100 UK homes have solar power
UK homeowners willing to switch to solar power could be in line for new "green grants" from the government.

A total of 20m will be available from next week as part of a push to persuade thousands of Britons to use renewable energy.

Anyone with a house will be eligible to apply for up to half the cost of installing solar panels on their roof.

Government research suggests the 7,000-plus price tag for even the most basic system puts a lot of people off.

So the Department of Trade and Industry is introducing solar grants as part of a drive to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy.

Target

Currently, only a very small proportion of UK homes have solar panels.

Ministers hope the subsidies will bring Britain into line with other countries which have a much better take-up rate.

The target is to have 6,000 roofs fitted with solar panels by 2005.

By that time, Germany expects to have 140,000 while Japan will have nearly 400,000 buildings powered by the sun.

See also:

15 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
Green light for solar energy
16 Jul 01 | Wales
New dawn for solar power
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