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18th January 2009

A 2 million scheme to boost the use of wood fuel used for heating is open for business.

Applications are being invited for the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme, which will give grants of up to 100,000 to small and medium sized businesses to install renewable heating systems.

To reach European climate change targets, the Government wants to increase by tenfold the amount of renewables used for heating in Scotland.

Energy Minister Jim Mather said:"Almost half of the energy used in Scotland goes towards heating and hot water.

"The ambition in our draft Renewable Energy Framework is to massively increase the use of renewable heat - from less than one per cent to 11 per cent by 2020. That's in line with our desire to meet tough European climate change targets and make Scotland the green energy capital of Europe.

"There is a huge opportunity for Scotland and Scottish business to use more biomass heating, especially in areas not connected to the gas grid. We have the available forestry resource and the use of wood fuel will stimulate a diverse and vibrant Scottish heat market, while creating green jobs, supporting rural economies and cutting emissions."

The Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme will be managed in partnership between Scottish Government and Forestry Commission Scotland. 2 million is available under the scheme, 1 million for 2009-10 and 1 million 2010-11.

The scheme is targeted at businesses, specifically small-medium sized enterprises. The scheme will also encourage the development of district heating demonstrators from private developers.

The maximum grant will be 100,000, although additional support for district heating projects may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Application forms and information are available at or from biomass.scotland[AT] . Or contact SBHS Administration, Forestry Commission Scotland, Highland Conservancy, 'Woodlands', Fodderty Way, Dingwall, IV15 9XB or call 01349 860 919.

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