Grant budget boost for Scottish renewables
An extra £250,000 has been awarded to a grant-assisted scheme set up to boost small scale renewable energy projects in Scotland.The funding boost equates to just over an extra 10% for the Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) budget and aims to tide over the over-subscribed scheme until next year.
The scheme subsidises the efforts of householders installing renewables in their homes and other interested in micro-generation.
This year's budget was £2.2 million but uptake has been such that the coffers have run dry.
The Scottish Executive's Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen has said the extra cash will be available with immediate effect and has also given a commitment to look carefully at increasing the monies allocated to the scheme for the next two years.
"This year has seen demand for funding from SCHRI for these small scale wind, biomass and solar power schemes surge upwards," he said.
"This is really good news but has far outstripped what those involved had been expecting. This extra funding means that householders and communities can continue to be part of our drive to harness clean, green energy."
Since 2002, the initiative has seen around 700 projects across the country benefit from more than £5 million funding.
With its excellent wind regime and extensive coastline Scotland hopes to supply 40% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
"I want to see this fantastic work continue," said the minister.
"The executive is determined to emphasise support for those who want to play their part in reducing the use of fossil fuels.
"That is why I am allocating extra funding to renewables projects this year to allow the organisation to meet the rest of this year's grants demand.
"And it's not just houses and communities that benefit from the scheme. It provides excellent opportunities for the renewable technologies industry and expansion of this sector could lead to the creation of more jobs."
By Sam Bond
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