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