By Robert Roth
The Lebanon Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Finance Facility (LEEREFF) was launched during International Beirut Energy Forum on 28 Sept 2018. It took place under the auspices of the Governor of Banque Du Liban (BDL), Mr. Riad Salameh, and in the presence of more than 200 international and national high-ranking officials, and key energy and financial sector experts.
LEEREFF is a dedicated credit line for sustainable energy investments in renewable energy, green buildings, and energy efficiency in businesses and industry. It currently has a total volume of 80 million Euro, of which 50 million Euro are provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and 30 million Euro by Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The credit line is intermediated through BDL, which provides interest rate subsidies and will make the proceeds available via local partner banks. In addition to the investment support, LEEREFF offers free technical assistance, financed by the European Union and implemented by GFA Consulting Group. The GFA team supports banks, investors and project developers in realizing energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.
By investing in energy efficient or renewable energy technologies, companies benefit directly from energy cost savings as well as modern technologies while contributing to lower the overall energy demand in Lebanon. „LEEREFF will give Lebanese companies the opportunity to improve their competitiveness and at the same time reduce pollution levels. The Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions needs to be broken down to concrete actions and investments at the local level. Our partnership with Banque du Liban, AFD and the Lebanese commercial banks will facilitate some of the investments needed in Lebanon. Furthermore, we provide technical assistance that will promote and deepen the know-how of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Lebanon. Today, we are pleased to see the launching of the facility and we are looking forward to continue providing more support to Lebanese enterprises because supporting investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy is a key priority of the EIB” stated Reinhard Six, senior engineer at EIB.
Olivier Ray, director of the AFD Lebanon and Syria office, added that ”energy efficiency gains and renewable energies have plenty of untapped potential in Lebanon. We are glad to provide the opportunity for SMEs to gain their share of the economic opportunities they provide”. The implementation of targeted energy efficiency measures allows companies to reduce their energy costs, while the implementation of renewable energy sources allows them to increase their security of supply. The benefits tend to be familiar to commercial and industrial companies but selecting the optimal solution often proves a challenge for decision makers. The free of charge technical assistance package implemented by GFA will bridge this gap.
José-Luis Vinuesa-Santamaria, head of the Economy & Local Development Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, explained that “the EU remains fully committed to supporting Lebanon meeting its energy and climate change goals. We can do so, by developing more effective and innovative partnerships and instruments that go beyond classic development assistance. Today, grants alone are not enough. It is therefore fundamental to mobilize all possible sources of capital, including private sector investment. We believe that the new Lebanon Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Finance Facility can help ensure that more renewable energy projects and related technologies, good for the environment and that contribute to job creation, are financed. The EU contributes more than four million Euro through a Technical Assistance Grant”.
More information about the project and the technical assistance services provided by GFA, are available under www.leereff.com