Greater Manchester launches £15 million fund for renewable energy projects

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The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has launched a £15 million low carbon fund intended to promote the production and distribution of renewable energy resources in the region.

The cash has been allocated from the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund and is understood to be open to “the majority of renewable technologies” according to GVA, which will manage the fund.

It is aimed at property developers and infrastructure providers to encourage the use of renewable energy in development schemes. It will be used to fund projects that would not attract traditionally commercial finance due to the relatively new technology involved, or projects that would be improved through the Low Carbon Fund’s expertise.

John Tatham at GVA, said: “This is GVA’s first fund under management, and to be working with the GMCA is a strong endorsement of our capability in this area. The benefits that the fund can bring to developers and the environment are vast, as is the scope for the funding, which could include anything from district heating technology to wind farms to reduce region’s carbon footprint.

“Now that the fund has launched, we are in the process of speaking directly to developers and infrastructure providers to understand their energy requirements and how we can work with them.”

It is intended the projects will deliver both carbon and energy savings, with the investment to be repaid by projects and recycled into further projects across the region over the 15 year period.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The GMCA is pleased to launch our new Low Carbon Fund that will encourage the use of renewable energy in property developments and infrastructure projects while also providing commercial investment in Greater Manchester.

“I look forward to working together with GVA, developers and infrastructure providers as we use this fund to achieve our goal of reducing carbon emissions across the region by 2020 and investing across Greater Manchester to drive sustainable economic growth.”

The announcement comes just days before Manchester’s first green summit to be held on 21 March to bring stakeholders together to accelerate Greater Manchester’s green ambitions.