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Businesses, schools and hospitals urged to bid for biomass cash

Biomass fuelled heating and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects can bid for a share of £12 million in funding after the launch of the latest round of the Bio-energy Capital Grants scheme.

Initiatives can access grants of up to £500,000 which can be used to cover up to 40 per cent of the difference in cost between a biomass boiler and its fossil fuel alternative.

Schools and hospitals are among the community organisations which can bid for funds alongside commefcial operations such as pubs, clubs, shops and offices.

A successful bid: The Marsden Farms project in Gloucestershire received a grant payment of £87,890 to help replace eight fossil fuel boilers with two biomass versions to heat rural office units and accommodation.
The project has already seen a 23 per cent reduction in heating bills and estimates saving 205 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation Minister, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, said: 'Nearly half of the UK's carbon emissions come from heating, so it's essential to change how we heat businesses, hospitals, schools and community buildings. The Government's Bio-energy Capital Grant Scheme makes installing boilers run on biomass much more affordable.

'By using biomass fuel to generate their own energy instead of coal, oil or gas, organisations can reduce their carbon impact and take an active role in the fight against climate change.

'We've also recently introduced new legislation which will mean people who do generate their own heat or electricity will be financially rewarded for doing so.'

Through previous rounds of the Bio-energy Capital Grant Scheme a total of £55 million has been allocated to help set up biomass power stations, biomass-fuelled Combined Heat and Power plants and biomass heating systems.

How to bid:
Applications to the Bio-energy Capital Grant Scheme can be made from industrial, commercial and community sectors in England.
This includes public and private limited companies, from pubs, clubs, shops or farms, to offices, supermarkets and stately homes right through to large businesses like breweries or airports.
Community organisations like schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, local authorities, housing associations and charities can also apply.
The scheme is open to new applications until at least 30 April 2009. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis, as and when they are received.
Full details are available at
www.bioenergycapitalgrants.org.uk/