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Caithness News Bulletins October 2003
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Shining Example For Solar Energy
21 October 03
A new Royal Society for the Protection of Birds scheme designed to encourage people to use solar energy was launched today.
Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald explained that the ‘Going Solar’ initiative, a non-profit making scheme, offered the first ever ‘solar loans’.
It allows people to install this technology by offering a fixed solar power installation price and special loans to finance it. It is open to members of the public. More than one million members of the RSPB will be specifically targeted. The solar initiative will offer those participating the potential of saving money on their current bills. The scheme is being run by the RSPB, solarcentury, a UK photovoltaic firm, and the Co-op bank who are offering the loans.
Mr Macdonald said: “The Executive is committed to promoting renewable energy and allowing people to share in the economic and environmental benefits it can bring. “This new initiative will enable members of the RSPB to experience first hand the benefits of renewable energy. It could allow people to save money on their energy bills by reducing the amount of power that they need to take from the national grid. “Renewable energy is not just about large-scale schemes – it can form part of people’s everyday lives. Grant schemes like this will help bring renewable energy into people’s homes.
“As more and more people use solar power, the costs of installing it will fall, allowing more people to share in the benefits of this. Grant schemes will obviously make a huge difference here.”
Mike Robinson, RSPB Marketing Manager, said: “‘Going Solar’ has been put together with the environment in mind and not profit. RSPB makes absolutely no money from this but the environment benefits and so too will birds in the end. “We've tried to make it as simple as possible for people to invest in their own solar energy. With the generous grants available, there's never been a better time. “The feedback so far has been outstanding and shows just how much people are willing to help, plus they can save money on electricity bills!”
The Executive currently provides funding to promote solar energy under the Scottish Community Renewable and Householder Initiative (SCHRI). The Executive will make an announcement on grant funding through SCHRI later this year. Mr Macdonald launched the initiative at RSPB nature reserve Vane Farm, near Loch Leven.