The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) yesterday unveiled details for Lebanon’s first Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), the largest thus far in the bank’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED). The GEFF program is set to address key issues of energy security, efficiency and sustainability for the Middle Eastern country.
In a positive move for actualizing the country’s renewable energy targets, US$90 million will be made available by the EBRD, augmented with an additional $10 million by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund, for potential Lebanese green energy projects.
This finance pool shall be further supplemented by Bank Audi, Lebanon’s largest bank, which is offering a further $100 million under the GEFF.
The long-term loan program shall be complemented by a technical assistance package offering engineering, environmental, financial and marketing consultancy teams. No specific project details were made available, however.
The chairman and group CEO of Bank Audi, Samir Hanna said, “Our partnership with the EBRD in the GEFF facility demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to unlocking the Lebanese private sector’s access to green finance. The funding will allow businesses and individuals to invest in commercially viable and environmentally sustainable projects, thereby supporting Lebanon’s overall transition to a green economy …”
In the wake of recent revelations that the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri will be ushering in a new, much more ambitious, target as part of the 2021-2025 Renewable Energy Action Plan, yesterday’s announcement offers pragmatic evidence of a Lebanese green economy being kick started.
As part of the Action Plan, set for publication next year, the country’s government is expected to create a 30% renewable energy target by 2030 – a more ambitious target than the current one of 12% by 2020.
SEMED is currently the fastest growing region of the EBRD’s operations and with the optimal climatic conditions for solar projects and the continued support of similar GEFF initiatives Lebanon, as well as its neighboring countries, looks set for rapid expansion of its green economy over the coming years.
Source PV Magazine