Almost £1.4 billion has been earmarked for various “green” initiatives, from off-shore wind to new technology, in what has been described as the “world’s first ever carbon budget”.
In handing down the 2009 Budget today, chancellor Alistair Darling announced £525 million of new financial support over the next two years for off-shore wind, which will be funded through the renewables obligation.
He also said £435 million of extra support would be provided to deliver energy efficiency measures for homes, businesses and public buildings.
The chancellor also announced that £405 million of new funding would be poured into low carbon energy and advanced green manufacturing in Britain “to drive the application of new technology and invest in small scale projects”.
Mr Darling said: “I am presenting the world’s first ever carbon budget, which commits Britain to cut carbon emission by 34 per cent by 2020.”
He also said that to encourage the use of combined heat and power technology, the Government would exempt those projects from the Climate Change Levy from 2013.
Mr Darling said this would bring forward more than £2.5 billion in investment.
He said renewable and other energy projects in the UK would also stand to benefit from up to £4 billion of new capital from the European Investment Bank.
The chancellor said: “These efforts also have the potential to create thousands of hi-tech businesses and hundreds of thousands of high-skilled jobs.
“These budgets give industry the certainty needed to developed and use low carbon technology - cutting emissions, creating new businesses and jobs.”
He said he was confident the support for off-shore wind would lead to major projects getting the go-ahead quickly, providing enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 3 million households.