£16 million funding for carbon cutting entrepreneurs

'Green' entrepreneurs are being given a £16 million boost in funding to help develop new low carbon technologies, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced.

The first phase of a total £35 million Entrepreneurs Fund announced earlier this year will aim to reduce carbon in the UK, sustain jobs and create new export opportunities.

Making the announcement, energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said that low carbon innovation was 'vital for the growth of our green economy.'

"This investment will help entrepreneurs with novel ideas get designs off the drawing board and into our homes and businesses, helping cut carbon and spur on growth in this exciting market place," he said.

Up to £10 million will be available to support energy efficiency technologies such as building control systems, advanced lighting systems, and space heating and cooling technologies. A further £6 million will be available for power generation, and could include energy storage technologies such as fuel cells, biomass boilers and heat pumps.

Those seeking to develop innovative technologies are entitled to bid for up to £1 million and will be given support from experts on bringing their products into the market. It is hoped that the boost in funding will encourage additional investment from private sector investors.

The remaining £19 million will be launched in the second phase of funding in the new year.

The DECC said the funding was primarily aimed at, but not limited to, start-ups such as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), innovators and entrepreneurs.

It is hoped the funding will help speed up the development of low carbon technologies and bring the UK closer to meeting its 2020 and 2050 carbon targets. The Government pledged last year to halve the UK's 1990 carbon emissions levels by 2025, and by 80 per cent by 2050.

The funding, which is being phased in to assess the level of demand, is now open to online applications until 31 October 2012.