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UEA’s LCIF invests in SolarforSchools

The University of East Anglia’s Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF) has invested into SolarforSchools, a specialist company which manages the process of installing solar power of schools.

LCIF contributed just under half of the £150,000 funding supplied by a group of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Schools worldwide have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 40-50 million tonnes of carbon a year by installing solar, but few of them have the time, experience or funding to do so. SolarforSchools partners with schools to enable them to have solar PV installed, by managing the entire process and offering a variety of funding options appropriate to the schools’ needs.

The investment will be used to accelerate the development of additional funding options for schools, such as online fundraising and investment-style crowdfunding, more online learning materials related to renewable energy for students, and international expansion.

The Low Carbon Innovation Fund is a venture capital fund for businesses in the East of England, which has stimulated over £65m investment into a range of businesses in East Anglia. It supports the region’s low carbon economy through venture capital investment in growing SMEs.

LCIF invests into promising companies who either supply low carbon goods and services or make operational changes with a clear carbon reduction impact. It can invest between £25,000 to £1m in growing businesses aiming to reduce carbon emissions.

James Griffiths, Programme & Fund Manager of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund said: “Solar Options for Schools Ltd is an exciting investment for LCIF. The company will be an enormous help to schools wishing to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills in the long term and demonstrate to the next generation that renewable energy works for a more sustainable lifestyle. With the planned cuts to solar subsidies, organisations running services such as SolarforSchools.co.uk are key in helping the UK achieve its carbon emission targets.”

Robert Schrimpff, co-founder of SolarforSchools, said: “We are delighted to have the backing of LCIF. Our goal is to enable as many schools as possible to contribute to reducing global warming by de-risking the process and managing the systems for them long term. LCIF invested on the condition that we would provide schools with a fair long-term solution and that is exactly what we set out to do.”

Schools can see how much they could contribute to reducing global warming and the UK’s dependence on energy imports with SolarforSchools at www.solarforschools.co.uk.