Sir Richard Branson launches green energy competition in Scotland

Sir Richard Branson is set to launch a green energy competition, with a £400,000 prize fund, in Scotland. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, which is also supported by the Scottish Government, is aimed at reducing carbon emissions through sustainable business ideas and inventions.

The winning candidate, who will come up with the best carbon abatement idea, will receive £400,000 to develop and create their product within two years. Sir Richard is currently calling on all entrepreneurs to enter the online competition.

"The UK has long been a nation of inventors, creating ideas that last a lifetime. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about using that innovation to make a real difference to climate change and we are calling on all British entrepreneurs to enter the competition,” Sir Richard explained.

"A great British idea could be the next thing to shake up the way we do business and help tackle climate change. We want as many UK entrepreneurs to enter as possible – the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is about showcasing sustainable invention and ideas, sharing expertise and knowledge."

In 2009 Dean Gregory won the competition with his RidgeBlade MicroGeneration design, a rooftop turbine which harnesses wind power to produce and consume renewable electricity at home.

"The moment of inspiration came from frustration at the current formats available for micro-turbines and we wanted to develop a product that could be used almost anywhere without attracting planning objections,” Gregory explained.

"To have reached the finals and receive feedback and encouragement from a panel that included Niklas Zennstrom, founder of Skype, was fantastic. To go on to win the top prize has given us the freedom to spend time refining and developing the product and we are now at the stage where we are ready to bring the product to market."

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, which is now in its sixth year, is open to all entrants with business plans for products or services which are able to directly reduce CO2 emissions.