UK launches GBP-15m rural fund for early-stage renewables
Jun 28, 2013 - Starting today applications are being accepted under the GBP-15-million (USD 23m/EUR 17.5m) Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), launched to finance the feasibility study and permitting stage of renewables projects in England's rural areas.
The British government established the fund to promote the use of green power in rural communities. The idea is to lend money to project developers and get them back once and if the projects get the green light and secure private finance. As part of the plan, the project developers are to pay a set 45% premium on top of the loan, with the money going to support further rural community green projects.
Eligible initiatives include wind, solar, biomass, heat pumps, anaerobic digestion, gas combined heat and power (CHP) and hydro projects proposed by rural communities of no more than 10,000 residents and by bigger communities in local authority areas defined as “predominantly rural”, the government said in a statement today. Each project will be able to apply for a grant of as much as GBP 20,000 to pay for feasibility studies and then for up to GBP 130,000 to cover expenses related to the planning permission application and environmental permits.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be reviewing applications each month. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will administrate the RCEF scheme.