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Sinn Fein welcomes EU initiative to support genuine cross border renewable energy

30 June, 2004

Sinn Fein spokesperson on all Ireland development, West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has welcomed this weeks announcement on the availability of over 5 million Euro through a Cross-Border Funding Measure directed at supporting Renewable Energy which are cross-border. The announcement was made at a conference held at Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Cavan.

Speaking after the conference Mr McElduff said:

"Sinn Féin encourages applicants from all target sectors: public bodies, community groups, trade unions, individuals and private businesses. What is essential is that we seize this opportunity by getting in contact with other groups with a similar interest to develop sustainable projects to promote green energy forms.

"Sinn Fein believes that this is a very real opportunity that the framing community in particular should look at seriously, particularly at the setting up community based cross-border co-operative organisations.

"We are particularly happy that this is part of an EU Community Initiative which is primarily aimed at encouraging development of green energy by community groups either side of the border. This fund is hugely significant as it provides for 50% support towards the private sector and 75% towards community groups. With other funds available community groups and voluntary sector applicants should be confident of getting 100% funding towards capital costs - confirmed by Action Renewables who are helping the two Departments administer this fund. Sinn Fein welcomes their involvement, as this will add significant value to the measure.

"Applicants should get in contact with Action Renewables or visit their website for contact details and submit an application form to either DETI or DCMNR as soon as possible.

"This measure is open on a rolling application basis. There will be no deadline and over £5m remains in the fund. It is important that this doesn't go back to Europe. We need to develop our hugely underdeveloped Green Energy sector - particularly in rural areas with biomass - this is a massive opportunity. Let's not waste it." ENDS

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