The Daily Telegraph

Capping grants deals blow to large-scale green projects

- By Emma Gatten ENVIRONMEN­T EDITOR

PLANS for large-scale decarbonis­ing projects in supermarke­ts, universiti­es and farming are under threat, campaigner­s have claimed, after a government consultati­on recommende­d grants only for domestic settings, with grants capped at £4,000.

Campaigner­s say this is an effective ban on industrial-scale heat pumps, similar to the end of subsidies for onshore wind, lifted earlier this year. Heat pumps work by pumping warmth from the air, ground or from water sources.

Among the projects that could be affected is an initiative to use sewage to power indoor horticultu­re.

Low Carbon Farming has two sites under constructi­on in East Anglia which it says will increase tomato production by 12 per cent, while cutting carbon emissions by 75 per cent.

But plans for 41 sites for future investment are likely to be stopped by the policy shift. “We have cut all of our work to find new sites,” said Andy Allen, a director at the company. “I think the Government has missed a trick.”

Sainsbury’s, Ikea and Sheffield and St Andrews universiti­es are among those to have also initiated heat-pump projects in recent years.

Erda Energy said its technology had helped Sainsbury’s save nearly 80 per cent of carbon emissions and the policy change would make it harder to invest at a critical stage of the industry.

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