30 Jan 2009 04:01:01
EC proposes 3.5bn for energy projects
Energy transmission development, carbon capture technology and offshore wind projects are among the beneficiaries of a 5 billion (£4.44 billion) investment in infrastructure proposed by the European Commission (EC).
As part of the EU recovery plan, the EC proposed to spend 3.5 billion on energy projects and 1.5 billion on bringing internet to rural areas and supporting agriculture.
Of the money that would go to energy infrastructure, 1.75 would go to developing transmissions networks, including the North Sea supergrid.
A further 1.25 billion would be invested in carbon capture and storage, such as the Kingsnorth, Longannet, Tilbury and Hatfield projects.
The remaining 500 million would be used to support offshore wind projects, including the Aberdeen offshore wind farm.
Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "The EU's Recovery Plan is all about 'smart investment' a short-term stimulus targeted on long-term goals."
The announcement, which came days after the publication of a Department of Energy and Climate Change report that said the UK seas could support offshore wind projects which would increase capacity by 25 gigawatts beyond what has already been built and approved.
Christian Kjaer, European Wind Energy Association chief executive, welcomed the move saying: "Investing public money to help unlock the largest European indigenous energy resource during the current economic uncertainty is equally strategic."