The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has introduced two competitive grant programs with a combined funding of USD20 billion to support clean energy projects, particularly in low-income communities, as reported by Reuters on July 14. The grant competitions include USD14bn for national clean financial institutions to collaborate with the private sector in providing financing to tens of thousands of clean technology projects nationwide. In addition, USD6bn will be allocated to nonprofit groups that will offer funding and technical assistance to enhance the clean financing capacity of local lenders operating in lower-income and disadvantaged communities.
The two programs are part of the USD27bn Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) established under the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The GGRF, also known as a “green bank,” aims to help reduce project risks in low-income communities by providing financial support and attracting private sector investment. In June, the GGRF announced the USD7bn Solar for All initiative, which aims to provide rooftop solar panels to low-income communities. EPA Administrator Michael Regan stated that the GGRF will mobilize private investment in clean technology projects and create economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities by reducing their energy costs.