"We are positively surprised at the interest and the numbers of applications that have come in," Tor Leite of the SFT told the Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper. "This shows that many municipalities have put climate issues on their agenda." While conceding that this year's budget allocation was "rather modest," Mr Leite said his department hoped for "new initiatives in connection with this year's autumn budget".
In the meantime, he added, the SFT had devised a computer program to help local and county authorities draw up appropriate action plans. The program is to be available on the Internet by the end of May.
Early indications are that many of the "action plans" are likely to involve district heating projects. In the southern city of Kristiansand, for example, a scheme combining industrial waste heat, biofuel and heat pumps is expected to generate up to 150 GWh by 2010. According to environmental director Øystein Holvik, this project alone could cut greenhouse gas emissions in Kristiansand by as much as 10%.
SFT, tel: +47 22 57 34 00.
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