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A collection of news stories, reports and announcements from or about Transition related matters.

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Energy Efficiency Budget?

The points below from the 2010 Budget earlier today are those most likely to be of interest: thanks to the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes for this.

Facilitating finance for households investing in energy efficiency

It was announced that the Government and the financial services industry will undertake detailed work through a joint Pay As You Save forum to develop the financing arrangements.

Green Investment Bank

In the Strategy for National Infrastructure published today the Government intends to create a Green Investment Bank, with a mandate to invest in low-carbon infrastructure. It will consider new energy and transport projects in particular, where the equity gap is expected to be most critical. It is expected that this will catalyse further investment to accelerate the rate of deployment of further projects. The timing of projects coming forward means it is likely that the Green Investment Bank will focus initially on offshore wind electricity generation. The Green Investment Bank will also consider the case for investing in other infrastructure as appropriate and as the need for investment arises. A consultation on the establishment of the Green Investment Bank will be published in summer 2010.

UK Finance for Growth (UKFG)

The Government announces the launch of UK Finance for Growth (UKFG) to streamline the Government’s SME finance support – including to help businesses commercialise low-carbon technologies. UKFG will work in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Regional Development Agencies to coordinate all public low-carbon SME equity schemes – including the £170 million stock of low-carbon finance products under the Carbon Trust’s venture capital activities and the UK Innovation Investment Fund’s (UKIIF) low-carbon programmes. Low-carbon businesses will also be able to access financial support from the wider £4 billion stock of SME finance products overseen by UKFG.

Winter Fuel Payments

Government will continue to make additional Winter Fuel payments in 2010-11 of £100 to households with someone aged over 80, or £50 if someone is over the female State Pension Age.

Biomass

Government intends to grandfather a minimum level of Renewables Obligation support for biomass installations at the point of accreditation.

Electricity Policy Framework

Government will bring forward proposals for changes to the electricity policy framework, for consultation this autumn.

Reforming the regional tier

A regional growth fund will be established by the Regional Development Agences (RDAs) within their capital budgets for 2011-12, to promote high-value investment in support of regional and national growth and industrial policy. To simplify the regional tier, the Government will also act to co-locate the RDAs, Homes and Communities Agency and Government Offices, saving £255 million from 2012-13.

Accelerated Development Zones

The Government will support investment in infrastructure in our cities and other centres of growth through an Accelerated Development Zone (ADZ) pilot programme. Pilot schemes will be introduced in locations across England in 2011-12. Combined authorities and selected local authorities will receive capital grant funding to a total of £120 million to help support projects that deliver key infrastructure and commercial development to unlock growth.

Other

Update to technologies included in the Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme, including two new sub-categories – for ‘self-driving’ magnetic motors and biomass air heaters. This will provide incentives to encourage businesses to invest in these technologies.

For full details visit http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2010_documents.htm

To download the Strategy for National Infrastructure published by Infrastructure UK alongside the Budget 2010 visit: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2010_national_infrastructure.htm

Regards