Low carbon entrepreneurs offered £19m Government funding
The Government is today offering entrepreneurs a share of up to £19m of funding for projects relating to energy efficiency, storage and low carbon generation.
The funding comes from the second phase of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, which has already allocated £16m since autumn 2012.
Projects funded in the previous phase include energy storage, heat storage, tidal turbine testing, a thermally-insulating window and an 'eco power shower'.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: "This funding will get ideas off the ground and into the market, create new green jobs, and help the UK get ahead in the innovation global race.
"An ambitious and driven small business sector can steer the economic recovery in the right direction. So I want to see Britain's brightest and best small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) sending in their applications."
DECC expects to open calls for projects every four to six months from June 2013, until the full funding has been allocated.
Research from energy supplier npower released yesterday shows that energy efficiency is emerging as a key growth strategy for the UK's SMEs, with nearly half (42%) benefitting from the commercial benefits of saving energy.
The survey of 500 SMEs, from across a variety of sectors, showed that SMEs are recognising the benefits of cutting energy use, which is a substantial increase on 2011, when the survey found that only 24% saw the commercial benefits.
Npower SME markets director Phil Scholes said: "We undertook this research to understand how SMEs currently manage energy in their business and assess where we may be able to help with bespoke products and services. It's really encouraging to see this trend of 'energy efficiency entrepreneurs', i.e. those SMEs who recognise that saving energy can result in tangible business benefits such as investment and growth."