Market News

 October 26, 2009
UK Government to Fund Low Carbon Britain

 "UK clean tech sector a hotbed of innovation" - Carbon Trust Chief Executive Tom Delay

GLOBE-Net - The UK Carbon Trust has announced plans to inject up to £18m (CAD 31.6m) in additional funding into the UK clean energy sector, providing a much needed ’shot in the arm’ for clean tech start-ups and Britain’s move to a low carbon economy.

The additional money has been provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Against a backdrop of declining investment into the sector it represents more than a quarter of the UK’s entire VC clean energy investment last year - this stood at £66.5m (CAD 116.9), the lowest in over five years.

The Carbon Trust plans rapidly to invest the additional funds over the next 12-18 months to help plug the financing gap faced by early stage UK clean energy businesses.

The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up in 2001 by Government in response to the threat of climate change, to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organizations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.

The UK is currently developing a range of clean technologies, including renewable energy sources such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, marine and wind power, as well as new forms of energy efficiency and demand management such as smart grid technology.

In offshore wind and wave technologies, Carbon Trust analysis has found that the UK could generate up to £70 billion (CAD 123 b) for the economy and almost 250,000 jobs by 2050. 

Investment will focus on companies that offer prospects of a strong commercial return and, in particular, on those technologies where the UK has natural strength and potential to become a global leader.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive at the Carbon Trust, said: "The UK is a real hot-bed of clean tech innovation and the sector has the potential to create significant economic value for Britain but it needs urgent support. In the current environment, even the most promising companies are finding it hard to attract the funding needed to turn bright ideas into commercial success stories. With this new funding boost, we are confident that the tide will now begin to turn."

Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, in his comments noted: "This cash injection will help safeguard the new generation of promising renewable technologies. Supporting green start-up companies with this capital means innovative ideas for low carbon energy will be able to make it out of the lab and into the future energy mix."

The Carbon Trust seeks to cut future carbon emissions by developing new low carbon technologies that will help the UK become a global hub for low carbon innovation. This is done through funding and managing projects, investing and collaborating on low carbon technologies and by identifying market barriers and practical ways to overcome them. The goal for commercializing new technologies is to deliver savings of up to 23 million tonnes of carbon a year by 2050.

The Carbon Trust operates in a manner similar to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), which uses funds provided by the government to lever private sector investment in new clean technologies.

For More Information: Carbon Trust