The US government has announced plans to enable states and non-profit entities to apply for US$27 billion in funding, financing projects that can help combat climate change.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) programme is created by the US government’s Inflation Reduction Act. The fund is divided into two parts, with the first one, General and Low-Income Assistance Competition, worth nearly US$20 billion.
In this part, non-profit entities can collaborate with community financing institutions, such as green banks, community development financial institutions, credit unions and housing finance agencies, to use both public dollars and private capital to invest in projects that can reduce pollution and lower energy costs for families, particularly those in the low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Up to 15 non-profit groups will be awarded in this competition.
The remaining part is the US$7 billion Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition. In this part, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award competitive grants to states and non-profit entities to help deploy residential rooftop solar, community solar and associated storage and upgrades in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
EPA aims to enable all families to benefit from clean yet affordable energy options and expects that up to 60 grants will be awarded under this competition.
“When people across the country are struggling to make ends meet while dealing with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change, it makes a great deal of sense to help households put solar on their roofs so they can create their own electricity, cut carbon pollution, and help create millions of good jobs,” said Bernie Sanders, US senator from Vermont.
EPA expects to release the notice of funding opportunities for these competitions in early summer 2023.
Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), commented, “The details revealed today will go a long way to quickly and equitably decarbonising our grid, unlocking critical new investments in communities that we should be empowering to benefit from the historic Inflation Reduction Act.”
She added, “This programme will fund the organizations best positioned to help low-income and disadvantaged communities get access to solar energy through grants and other financial assistance, including specifically for distributed solar and storage technologies.”