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"Green" Brown orders more energy cuts

[Tuesday 15 May 2007]
Gordon Brown
Is Brown green?

AS CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown launches his campaign for the premiership with calls for more "green" policies, it was revealed at the weekend that he has slashed budgets for small renewable energy projects in rural areas.

Until now, farmers and landowners have been able to win grants of up to £5,000 to install small non-CO2 producing electricity schemes like wind turbines.

But it was revealed at the weekend that these grants have been halved to £2,500 under huge cuts ordered by the Treasury to claw back massive overspending on the NHS and other Government departments.

The rural affaires ministry Defra has already suffered massive cutbacks for schemes like flooding defences and veterinary research and the now DTIs' Lowe Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) has been halved.

The cuts were attacked at the weekend by Dorothy Fairburn, Yorkshire Director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) who said: "The LCBP has been hugely oversubscribed, and the cash available each month has run out very quickly - sometimes literally in minutes from the first day of the month.

"Sadly, under the new rules small scale wind turbine developments are simply no longer viable, particularly in areas with lower average wind speeds. Equally, many members with plans for domestic wood burners and biomass boilers will be discouraged."

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