A US$13.1 million fund has been made available for small and medium-sized businesses to access financing for investment in renewable energy products and systems such as solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, electic-powered vehicles, inverter air-conditioning units and more.

The funding comes from US$6.7 million loan financing from the Inter-American Development Bank and US$6.4 million grant resources from the European Union, which has recapitalised the Barbados Government's Smart Energy Fund, for the second phase of the Sustainable Energy Investment Programme, known as Smart Fund II.

This was announced as part of the launch of phase II of the Ministry of Energy and Business' flagship Energy Smart Fund this week with a press conference at the Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy & Business emphasised the aim to increase uptake of renewable energy products and energy efficient technologies with a targetted approach. She explained that businesses will have access to low-cost financing with 3.75 percent interest over a 10-year period. The will also be able to access technical assistance and expertise of Smart Fund partners with things like energy audits, feasibility studies, implementing renewable energy and energy efficient projects projects and more.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary specified that while all businesses are eligible to apply, the emphasis will be on the tourism industry and small and medium-sized enterprises, ensuring that they are given a head-start in operating more sustainably:

“Consequently, small businesses can access funding up to US$75,000 from Fund Access and up to US$1 million from the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited for investment loans”

 Read more about the Energy Smart Fund II.