European Regional Development Fund-backed loan fund to aims to accelerate the roll out of emerging clean technologies
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will today launch a new £15m loan programme designed to make it easier for property and infrastructure developers to incorporate renewables as part of their projects.
Backed with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Fund will offer loans 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 fund's expertise.
The loans will then be repaid over a 15 year period with the proceeds then recycled into further green projects across the region.
The aim is for the fund, which will be managed by property specialists GVA, to complement the existing Greater Manchester European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) fund, which provides grant funding for support early stage renewables and energy efficiency projects, such as street lighting upgrades.
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, the authority said.
Example projects include wind turbines that are dedicated to a development, projects generating energy from waste, or Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems that generate electricity and heat powered by renewable woodchips.
John Tatham at GVA said "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," he added.
The launch was welcomed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. "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," he said. "This announcement comes at an exciting time as we 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."
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