New Renewable Energy Projects in England
The EU has awarded three English councils a grant of €1.9 million, approximately £1.65 million. The money is to spent on improving the energy efficiency of commercial and domestic buildings. The beneficiaries are the Bristol and Plymouth city councils and the county authority of Devon.
Some of the funding will also go towards various heat network projects. Some will also go towards electric vehicle infrastructure including the installation of electric vehicle charge points. A team based in Bristol will be responsible for managing the distribution of the funds.
Britain Still Benefitting from EU Funding
Despite the looming shadow of Brexit, the grant was still awarded by the European Investment Bank and European Commission. It will fund a ‘new wave of energy projects’ across the south west regions of England.
Devon county council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Roger Croad, spoke about the grant in a statement that read,
“The funding will help us to kick-start a range of projects which will support the council in delivering its target of reducing the Devon region’s carbon emissions by eighty percent by 2050.
“We anticipate that this funding will stimulate Devon’s renewable energy sector and lead to at least £16 million being invested into low carbon projects in the county.”
Bristol Leading Country in Carbon Reduction and Clean Energy
Bristol city council have previously received £50 million. The funding came from ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance) back in 2014 for various projects pertaining to energy and sustainability.
The council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Energy, Waste and Regulatory Services is Councillor Kye Dudd. He said of their second successful funding bid that,
“It is great that Bristol has once again been recognised as a national leader in the field of sustainability as our goal to become a carbon neutral city by 2050 moves a step closer.”
Mr Dudd added,
“It is even more exciting now that we are in a position to share our knowledge and expertise with other parts of the region, helping them to reduce carbon and provide clean energy to towns and cities across the south west.”
How Britain’s South West Qualified For EU Funding
Established in 2009, ELENA is a combined effort between the European Investment Bank and the European Commission. It is working towards fulfilling the goals of the Horizon 2020 programme. That programme is the EU’s biggest research and innovation project that has had €80 billion of funding available. The funding is for various energy projects over the course of a seven-year period that started in 2014.
The ELENA grants are primarily for technical assistance that is concentrated on the development and implementation of energy efficiency strategies. Successful grant applications are usually for projects involving the distribution of renewable energy and urban transport programmes.
Bristol, Plymouth and Devon’s commitment to these two particular areas make them an idea candidate to receive such funding.
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