Wind project for SMEs gets £1m Euro-funding

A wind energy project at the University of Central Lancashire has received funding worth £1.1m from the European Regional Development Fund. The initiative is to develop a world-class small wind […]

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By Kelvin Ross

A wind energy project at the University of Central Lancashire has received funding worth £1.1m from the European Regional Development Fund.

The initiative is to develop a world-class small wind energy technologies sector within the northwest region.

The project also aims to increase the uptake of small wind technologies by small to medium-sized enterprises.

A university spokesman said: “This is predominantly about assisting small businesses by helping them with the feasibility and development of small wind turbines. What is it going to cost? Where will it have to go? It will assist businesses to take them through those steps.”

The university’s Wind Energy Engineering Research Group will provide expertise to assist over 100 SMEs during the three-year project.

The group’s head, Professor Xiongwei Liu, said: “This project will place UCLan as a world leader in the development and the northwest at the forefront of demonstration of innovative small wind energy technologies, and provide fantastic investment opportunities and economic growth in the region.”

The move comes as the boss of British Gas Business this week said that SMEs were the forgotten part of UK industry when it comes to energy.

Kanat Emiroglu said: “We need to start thinking about smaller and medium-sized enterprises. SME’s account for 45% of the private sector economy in the UK, 52% of the employment and about a quarter of carbon emissions.”

But he added: “Currently there is no scheme for the energy efficiency for SME’s.” He said he would like to see a “Green Deal” for SMEs: “It incentivises them to go low carbon.”