JIS News

Funds are now available at a subsidized interest rate of three per cent, through the European Investment Bank (EIB), for investments in renewable energy.
Speaking at the opening of First Caribbean International Bank’s 13th branch in Liguanea on June 22, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw informed that there are funds available through several channels, including the EIB, which is offering money that can also flow through the local commercial banking system.
“They (EIB) are offering money for investment in renewable energy and they are offering a three per cent interest rate subsidy. So loans that normally would be six or seven per cent are now three to four per cent,” he pointed out.
In the context of such investment opportunities, the Minister said it was clear that these were in line with the country’s quest to achieve food security and reduced reliance on fossil fuel.
“We need to find a formula, how are we going to do it and it’s urgent, the time is now,” the Minister said, pointing out that “we need not think very far or look very far to see what are some of the new opportunities.”
However, Mr. Shaw questioned whether there are enough people who are looking at how investments could be made in these areas. In this regard, he encouraged First Caribbean to help lead the way.
The Minister encouraged banks to “take up that three per cent, add your spread on that, but for God’s sake, don’t make it a big spread, maybe two or three per cent and lend money at six to seven per cent for renewable energy.”
Mr. Shaw emphasised that it could be done and that it deserved consideration by the banking community.

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