£20 million in grants for solar power

The UK Government has announced that it is to give £20 million to enable thousands of homes and offices across the country to install solar power. The funding is expected to increase domestic solar power installations in the UK tenfold.

The money is being made available through the Government’s Major Photovoltaics Demonstration Programme (PV MDP). Last week, as part of the Government’s solar initiative, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced £4 million worth of photovoltaic projects for public buildings, including the country’s largest PV project at Cambridge University’s new science park (see related story).

“This money will not only contribute to the UK achieving its ambitious environmental goals, but also help the UK photovoltaic industry develop the technology to allow us to compete for this massive global market,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

“I am also pleased to announce the appointment of a consortium led by the Energy Saving Trust, and including Halcrow and Novacroft, as the programme management contractor,” said Hewitt. “The consortium will be responsible for the day to day running of the programme and I look forward to working with them during this very exciting time for the renewables industry.”

Grants for domestic customers and small to medium-sized enterprises are likely to be around 50%, whilst that for publicly-run organisations, such as education authorities, NHS trusts, and universities, are likely to receive grants of around 65%. Large profit-making organisations are likely to receive 35% grants.

Anyone interested in participating in the grant scheme can call Freephone 0800 298 3978, and will need to identify a supplier prior to making a grant application. A website is being set up at www.solargrants.org.uk, and will be operational in the second half of April.

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