Funding for small-scale development in public sector

Some 500 MW of renewables projects -- mostly wind -- to be built on sites owned by local authorities, hospitals and other public sector bodies is the aim of a new venture launched by the Carbon Trust. The initiative, Partnerships for Renewables (PfR), will partner with private sector companies over the next five years to develop, build and operate onsite renewables projects on public sector land. The venture has received £10 million of funding from the government which, says the Carbon Trust, will allow it to leverage a further £500 million of investment. PfR expects the 500 MW of projects to consist primarily of wind clusters of 3-5 MW. This will open up a market which PfR estimates to be many times greater. Environment Secretary David Miliband says that plans for wind and other renewable projects on local authority land can be held back because public and private investment are not working together. "Our investment of £10 million has the potential to unlock up to half a billion pounds in private investment, produce 500 MW of renewable electricity for public sector organisations to use themselves or to deliver to homes and businesses around the country." The public sector is responsible for around 5% of the UK's carbon emissions. As energy costs have risen, organisations are beginning to consider developing renewables, but to date public sector projects make up less than 0.1% of the UK's total renewable capacity.