The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has launched a new loan fund to promote the production and distribution of energy derived from renewable resources in the region.
The £15m Greater Manchester Low Carbon Fund has been allocated from the 2014-2020 European Regional Development Fund and has a lifespan of 15 years.
Managed by GVA, the fund 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. Investment that is then repaid by projects will be recycled into further projects across the Greater Manchester region over the 15-year period.
The new fund will work closely with the Greater Manchester European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) fund, managed by the Combined Authority that provides grant funding, to support the early stage development of projects that deliver savings in energy consumption and carbon emissions for energy network and street lighting projects. Under the new arrangements, the ELENA Fund is able to provide assistance for upfront project costs with the Low Carbon Fund following on with commercial investment.
Example projects include wind turbines that are either dedicated to a development or a wind farm, projects generating energy from waste and landfill or Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems that generate electricity and heat powered by renewable woodchips.
John Tatham at GVA said: “This is GVA’s first fund under management, and to be working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority 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.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: “The Greater Manchester Combined Authority 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. This announcement comes at an exciting time as this month we are holding Greater Manchester’s landmark first Green Summit which will set out how we will become one of the leading green cities in Europe.
“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.”