The British government said Monday it was investing more than $850,000 in 30 local renewable energy projects. The first 30 projects are receiving the finances as part of the Rural Community Energy Fund, which envisions the local development of renewable energy resources.
"I want to see more communities becoming producers of energy -- powering schools, market towns and community centers sustainably -- and boosting their economy at the same time," he said in a statement.
Barker said the initiative is in line with his effort to diversify to the domestic energy sector. In 2010, six energy companies controlled 90 percent of the British market. The so-called Big Six, he said, need to become the Big 60,000 by empowering local communities to generate their own energy.
British Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Dan Rogerson said the local efforts would strengthen rural economies, safeguard the environment and allow communities to unlock their own renewable energy potential.