EPA Earmarks $20 Billion for Clean Technology Grant Competitions

Building blocks with symbols/images related to sustainability and clean energy, being built towards a goal of a net-zero society block.

(Credit: Canva)

by | Jul 17, 2023

Building blocks with symbols/images related to sustainability and clean energy, being built towards a goal of a net-zero society block.

(Credit: Canva)

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched two new grant competitions with $20 billion up for grabs for clean technology programs.

The two competitions and the $20 billion worth of grants stems from the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which was part of the Inflation Reduction Act. According to the EPA, the grant opportunities will enact private capital into clean technology projects that will offer good-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and reduce emissions, particularly those focused on low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“The President and I set ambitious goals to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050 – the investments announced today to move our nation towards achieving these goals and a cleaner, healthier future for generations to come,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement. “Students, small business owners, and community leaders with innovative ideas to reduce our emissions and accelerate our clean energy transition will now see their projects become reality, all while creating good-paying jobs and a clean energy economy that works for all.”

The $20 billion covers two grant opportunities – the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator.

The clean investment fund will provide grants to support two-to-three national clean financing institutions to support a range of clean technology projects, leveraging private capital to do so. The White House noted these projects should be directed to small businesses, nonprofits, governments, families, individuals, and others access to capital for clean technology for their businesses and communities. 

“At least 40% of the funds from the National Clean Investment Fund will be dedicated to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including those that are rural communities, Tribal communities, communities with environmental justice concerns, energy communities and persistent poverty counties,” the White House said.

The accelerator grant will provide grants to support two-to-seven hub nonprofit organizations, offering them the opportunity to provide funding and technical assistance to public, quasi-public, not-for-profit, and non-profit community lenders working in low-income and disadvantaged communities. The focus on these communities aligns with the EPA’s and White House’s goals of ensuring every community in the country has access to capital to deploy clean energy projects. 

The aim is for the hubs to enable community lenders – including community development financial institutions (including Native CDFIs), credit unions, green banks, housing finance agencies, and minority depository institutions – to finance clean energy technology projects. The model will mobilize private capital and build the capacity of community lenders to finance these projects for years to come.

“By funding a national network of non-profit financing institutions that will deliver capital to tens of thousands of clean technology projects in local communities across the country, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will transform local economies and help us meet our climate goals,” said Senior Advisor and Acting Director of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Jahi Wise. “Investments like this one will expand opportunities for the communities that have too often been left out and left behind.”

The deadline to apply for both grant competitions is October 12, 2023.

The announcement of the grant opportunities comes just a few weeks after the EPA announced a $7 billion grant competition for solar power. 

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