Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Green communities in Wales to scoop 15m

Wind energy
Rooftop wind energy generation on a residential property.

Community organisations in Wales are to benefit from a £15m investment in green energy technology.

The funding is expected to create up to 22 jobs and will finance schemes utilising such sources as wind and hydro power.

Communities will be able to generate their own electricity to use or sell to the National Grid.

A total of £8m assembly government cash will be backed by more than £7m from the EU regional development fund.

It i hoped such help will enable communities across Wales to reduce carbon emissions and help tackle climate change.

The Community Scale Renewable Energy Generation project will provide between £100,000 and £300,000 to each eligible project.

£8m assembly government funding
£7m from EU Regional Development Fund
Between £100,000 and £300,000 available to projects
Smaller grants for feasibility studies and project development

Environment Minister Jane Davidson said: "This will benefit these organisations through reduced fuel costs as well as provide the opportunity to secure a sustainable income."

The minister said such income could be used to employ staff and provide energy efficiency and fuel poverty advice to communities.

Around 135 additional grants of up to £3,000 will be available for feasibility studies into potential renewable energy schemes, followed by 35 grants of up to £20,000 to develop those projects.

The Energy Saving Trust will manage the project on behalf of the assembly government, with development officers scoping out prospective schemes.

The trust's Helen Northmore said: "The support on hand from the development officers and the grant funding available will be invaluable."

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