Environmental Transformation Fund; getting UK funding for environment projects.

The Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) is a new initiative to bring forward the development of new low carbon energy and energy efficiency technologies in the UK. The fund will formally begin operation in April 2008, and will be jointly administered by Defra and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).
Domestic funds

Funds within the domestic element of the Fund will total £400 million during the period 2008/09 to 2010/11.
International funds

Budget 2007 announced a joint Defra/DFID £800 million international element of the fund over the same period, to focus on poverty reduction and environmental protection, and help developing countries to tackle climate change. This brings the total value of the ETF to £1.2 billion over the three year period. The first £50 million has been earmarked to help tackle deforestation in the Congo basin.


What does it aim to do?

The domestic element of the Fund aims to accelerate the commercialisation of low carbon energy and energy efficiency technologies in the UK. In doing so, it will help reduce the carbon intensity of energy production as well as reduce energy demand. The fund will therefore contribute towards the UK’s climate change and renewable energy goals for 2020 and beyond.

The fund will specifically focus on the demonstration and deployment phases of bringing low carbon technologies to market. It will work closely with other organisations funding earlier stage research and development including the Energy Technologies Institute, Technology Strategy Board, and the Research Councils’ Energy Programme.


What will be covered by the domestic ETF?

The domestic ETF brings together Defra’s and BERR’s existing low carbon technology funding programmes together with a number of new investments to begin in 2008/09, as follows:

* Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Carbon Abatement Demonstration Programme
* Marine Renewables Deployment Fund
* Low Carbon Buildings Programmes
* Bio-energy Capital Grants and Bio-energy Infrastructure Schemes
* Offshore Wind Capital Grants programme
* Carbon Trust’s innovation programme, including research accelerators, technology accelerators, and incubators
* Carbon Trust funding for new low carbon technology enterprises, including Partnership for Renewables
* Carbon Trust investments in low carbon technology businesses
* Carbon Trust energy efficiency loans scheme for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
* Salix Finance public sector invest-to-save loan schemes

New schemes announced.

On 21 February 2008 Hilary Benn announced the first set of new schemes to be funded from Defra’s element of the domestic ETF (see Defra news release):

* £47.4m for the Carbon Trust’s technology programmes in 2008/09, including more funding for their SME loan scheme and the similar scheme in the public sector operated by Salix Finance Ltd
* £10m in 2008/09 for new rounds of the Bio-energy Capital Grants and Bio-energy Infrastructure Schemes
* Around £10m over three years for projects that demonstrate the potential of anaerobic digestion technologies at commercial scale

On 13 March we announced the investment of a further £30m over the next three years in public sector energy efficiency projects in England through Salix Finance Ltd. Salix is grant funded by the Carbon Trust as part of their wider approach to helping public bodies such as local authorities, universities, hospitals and central government departments reduce their carbon emissions. See Defra news release.

On 2 April Hilary Benn announced his intention to launch a Green Neighbourhoods competition, aiming to help up to 100 streets and local areas across England reduce their carbon footprint by 60%, with a focus on demonstrating what can be achieved with older housing stock. See Defra news release and further details.

How do I apply for funding?

The Environmental Transformation Fund itself will not be open for funding requests. Instead, schemes funded by the ETF, such as those operated by the Carbon Trust and BERR, will be publicised via their websites and in the usual ways when funding becomes available.

Links.

# The Carbon Trust website: www.carbontrust.co.uk
# Salix Finance website: www.salixfinance.co.uk
# Bioenergy Capital Grants Scheme (Defra website)
# Offshore Wind Capital Grants (BERR website)

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7 Responses to Environmental Transformation Fund; getting UK funding for environment projects.

  1. the Grit says:

    Hi,

    That sounds a lot like the problems we have over here with getting Government funds. For example, I had an idea for building a really cheap wind power generator using off the shelf parts, and thought, what with the renewable energy fervor going around Washington these days, it was worth looking into sources of Government funding to see if I was on to something. After a good deal of investigating, I concluded that hiring the lawyers needed to wade through the paper work would cost more that the potential grant money, I put the idea on hold until I hit the lottery.

    the Grit

  2. matt says:

    Paper work and bureaucratic systems or terms of engagement. I’m going through those again trying to get funding for a local park. Have succeeded in getting funding a few years back for installation of a solar panel array. But it was a bit of a head banger!

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi matt,

    I don’t say this often, but, if you managed that without resorting to physical violence, then you are a better man than me. Heck, it was all I could do not to shoot them even when I worked for them! Or perhaps I’m just not taking the right drugs? Either way:

    Bravo!

    the Grit

  4. matt says:

    Who did you work for? What did you do? … that made you so blue!

  5. the Grit says:

    Hi matt,

    I worked in data processing for our local county government for several years. My role was, and this was a while back when desk top computers were sort of a new thing, to write all the software for personal computers as requested by various branches of said government. My managers were still stuck on the need to have everything run off a mainframe computer, but, even with a rather large staff, they couldn’t meet the demand from other departments on anything other than a schedule measured in decades. My projects, both because development on PCs is more efficient and because, well, I was quite good at it, took an average of two months. This, while I got to see how a whole lot of our local government worked, or didn’t, also stuck me in the middle of several internal spats between elected officials.

    What made me so blue was my final project before I quit. It was developing a system for our local health department to track STD cases and match them to their medical files. It also required that they be able to access this information on any PC in their office. The Big Iron staff was fully occupied trying to figure out how to track automobile license plates, so, as there was political pressure coming from above, they put me on the project, figuring that nothing could be done with the equipment I worked on, but that it would keep everyone satisfied for a while.

    I spent a month studying up on local area networks (LANS,) which were the hot technology at that time, put in a request for the equipment I needed, got it, and, in three months had the initial parts of the system up and running. Running too well, as it turned out. While the people who were going to use the software were ecstatic about it, and my boss and his boss were exceeding impressed, their bosses, or so I was told off the record later, were concerned that if cheaper systems with lower costs were shown to be effective, their budget would be slashed. Thus, on orders from above, my project was canceled, and all development along those lines was also canceled. I was reassigned to mainframe development. I turned in my two week notice the next day.

    I ran into the man in charge of the department for which I was writing said software three or four years later at lunch one day. According to him, they were still waiting for there system. Government sucks.

    Oh, and it was policy that employees who quit had to attend an exit interview. When I decided to quit, I called everyone in our sprawling government who I had written software for, to point out that I was leaving and that, in the event they had problems with their software they should call the Big Boss in our department. During our final chat, he mentioned that his phone had been ringing off the hook all week with people worried about future support for their computer programs, and that he hadn’t been aware of my previous contributions to the department, and offered to double my salary if I’d stay. I asked if my pursuit of more efficient methods of data processing would be condoned, and he said, “Unfortunately, we can’t do that at this time.” So I told him to kiss a certain part of my anatomy, and took the private sector job I’d been offered at four times the compensation our local government was providing me. Oh, and the money, I would point out, wasn’t the deciding factor for me, but that company offering the job had just leased a communications satellite to connect all of the data exchange between the stores in their national chain. Heck, I would have paid them to play with that! Fortunately, this wasn’t common knowledge 🙂

    The point of that rant being, that government agencies, not having any motive that links efficiency and/or personal performance with advancement of their staff, suck.

  6. matt says:

    Thanks Grit. That explains a lot of your past rants. I do wonder sometimes how governments run! Pretty ineffectively, obviously.

  7. the Grit says:

    Hi matt,

    You probably wouldn’t believe some of the things I witnessed while in civil service, and that was only in a relatively minor local Government. I also know, from what our local news reporters have found out over the years that our State Government, the next step up, has seen more than it’s share of inefficiency and corruption over the years. One of our Governors (the State equivalent of President) for instance, was caught in a scheme that handed him a portion of the coins collected from vending machines in State owned buildings. The law enforcement officials looking into possible corruption discovered several 55 gallon drums of said change buried in his back yard. I’m not sure I even want to know what goes on at the Federal level.

    the Grit

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