EPA Announces $27 Billion Fund to Help Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities Transition to Renewable Energy
Under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) — part of last year’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act — states, Tribes, municipalities and eligible nonprofits will soon be able to apply for $27 billion in grant funding from a “green bank” to help finance projects that facilitate the country’s transition to renewable energy and reduce pollution, a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.
The EPA has outlined how to apply for the GGRF grants, which will focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Two grant competitions — a $20 billion General and Low-Income Assistance Competition and a $7 billion Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition — will be held by the EPA.
“At a time when we face the existential crisis of climate change, the Inflation Reduction Act is a major and necessary investment in clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the press release. “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.”
Fifteen nonprofits are expected to be awarded nearly $20 billion in grant funding for pollution reduction projects and programs to lower household energy costs, The Associated Press reported.
“EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award competitive grants to eligible nonprofit entities that will collaborate with community financing institutions like green banks, community development financial institutions, credit unions, housing finance agencies and others. Together, these entities will leverage public dollars with private capital to invest in projects that reduce pollution and lower energy costs for families, particularly those in the low-income and disadvantaged communities that have had unequal access to private capital for far too long,” the press release said.
Tribes, states, municipalities and eligible nonprofits will be awarded $7 billion in grants for a variety of solar energy projects that include community solar, solar power storage and upgrades, as well as rooftop solar for homes in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Under this competition, up to 60 grants are expected to be awarded.
“Every community should have an opportunity to benefit from the investments we make in combatting climate change,” said Senator from Delaware and Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Tom Carper in the press release.
A Community Roundtable series was also announced to introduce the GGRF to communities nationwide.
“The $27 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act for a national Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is the single largest investment in clean energy, environmental justice, and carbon pollution reduction in American history,” said Representative from Michigan Debbie Dingell in the press release. “Today’s announcement is the first major step forward to achieving an equitable clean energy economy.”
The EPA plans to open the GGRF grant competitions by early this summer.
“A giant leap forward for bringing clean energy to communities who are too often left behind, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is one of the concrete actions taken as a direct result of the Inflation Reduction Act to make access to reliable and clean solar power easier for millions of Americans,” said New York Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as reported by The Hill.
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