Blair announces £70 million injection for low carbon technologies

Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced the Carbon Trust's first major portfolio of low carbon projects

. With low carbon innovation likely to be an important area of focus in the soon to be released Energy White Paper, this marks an important step in the development of the UK low carbon technology sector. The Prime Minister said: "I set up the Carbon Trust two years ago, as a business-led organisation charged with bringing forward cutting edge climate change technologies. Today I am pleased to announce its first large portfolio of projects - including fuel cells, wave power, photovoltaics and CHP - which together will amount to £70m in combined public-private investment." The portfolio already represents an exciting range of projects at different stages along the innovation chain, ranging from grant funding for R&D through to equity investments in early stage technology companies. The projects represent a good geographical spread - there are major projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Carbon Trust, a publicly funded but independent company, will leverage significant levels of other private and public sector investment into this arena. Tom Delay Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said: "The Carbon Trust is making a difference - these projects will amount to a total investment of £70m and are just the start of our programme of low carbon innovation investment and development. The UK must play a leading role in low carbon investment to reap the business benefits of climate change." Some examples of the projects being developed are: 1) Research, Development and Demonstration Carbon Vision - a £14m research and development fund (jointly with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) for universities. Initial themes for research projects will include low carbon buildings, industrial processes and fuel cells Portico Software - a Welsh based part funded research and development project of £340,000 on energy analysis and monitoring tools to provide more effective energy management for process industries such as steel and glass European Marine Energy Centre - participation in a publicly funded Orkney based marine test centre to support companies involved in the development of future wave & tidal power technologies. Total project value will be £6.7m Usher - support for a £4.5m demonstration project that innovatively links photovoltaic electricity generation to hydrogen production, storage and utilisation to power fuel cells University of Glamorgan - Welsh based C£76,000 research project for producing sustainable hydrogen from starch to use in electricity production via fuel cells 2) Technology Commercialisation Bowman Power - minority participation in a £16m equity investment to support the development of a Southampton based company producing advanced gas turbine CHP systems B9 Energy Biomass - Northern Ireland based company developing biomass CHP plant for local heat and electricity generation. Participation in a total funding round of £600k 3) Dissemination of new technology IT Power - c£160,000 project that will implement a UK-wide roll-out of an accredited programme for photovoltaic installation training Peter Shortt, Director of the Carbon Trust's Low Carbon Innovation Programme, added: "The diversity of the projects demonstrates the range of low carbon innovation in the UK today. We need to build on these projects in the months and years ahead to successfully build a world-class low carbon technology sector." In addition to the projects announced the Carbon Trust will be making further project announcements in the coming weeks. MF Further information is available on The Carbon Trust's website.