BEIRUT — The US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea on Friday announced the launch of the Solar & Renewable Energy Fund, started by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to finance renewable energy solutions in Lebanon.
The solutions will be reached through the Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) and Activity and Lebanon Investment Initiative (LII).
USAID's energy fund aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need. The fund was also started to support households by preserving jobs for those working in crisis-affected institutions.
In the project's first round of funding, 25 private sector companies interested in acquiring renewable facilities, such as solar panels, will be eligible for loans repayable over three to five years.
"This initiative, managed by USAID, is unprecedented in Lebanon," said Shea during the project's launch ceremony. "But it is not the first response from the US government to the energy crisis in Lebanon, nor will it be the last."
"Since 2012, the United States, through USAID, has been providing affordable, renewable backup electricity to homes and businesses," Shea added. "We are confident that Lebanese businesses and investors will seize this opportunity to capitalize on this fund to support Lebanon's economy, the viability of its businesses and protect jobs. Together, we can build a cleaner, more productive future."
To date, USAID, through TIF and LII, has committed $4 million in seed funding and $500,000 to structure the fund but aims to reach $20 million through private investor participation.