Standard Bank continues to see a massive demand for solar and energy-related products, with a 400% growth in demand for LookSee’s Solar installation offering last year.
Standard Bank and LookSee launched the purpose-built Solar Loan in 2023, which forms part of the government’s Energy Bounce Back Loan Scheme. For households, loans are offered from R3,000 up to a maximum of R300,000.
This is part of the bank’s ambitious green financing plan,where it plans to mobilise R300 billion in sustainable financing by the end of 2026.
Demand for financing of alternative power projects has increased exponentially since the government lifted the cap on private generation projects at the beginning of 2023.
Standard Bank’s financing of renewable projects has risen with demand to over four times greater than the bank’s funding of non-renewable energy projects.
Central to this has been the rise of household solar in South Africa, with more and more of the country looking to reduce their reliance on Eskom.
“The bank has led a concerted effort to disburse funds to individuals in South Africa for installing solar solutions or purchasing ‘green-aligned’ homes,” the head of LookSee, Marc Du Plessis, said.
“The total lending book has grown by over 26% to R2.9 billion, with over R1.2 billion being added in 2023.”
The bank set an initial target of financing R55 billion worth of renewable energy projects in Africa within two years from 2021. This target was reached in less than one year.
Standard Bank South Africa CEO Lungisa Fuzile said the bank has set more ambitious targets for the next few years, with a total of R300 billion in sustainable financing solutions mobilised by 2026.
This is not limited to loans and advances, with the bank also looking to expand its underwriting portfolio and arranging activities in South Africa undertaken on behalf of clients.
As part of the R300 billion in sustainable financing solutions, Standard Bank aims to finance R50 billion worth of renewable energy power plants and underwrite R15 billion in renewable energy commitments by 2024.
Most projects are in South Africa, with the bank starting to see demand pick up in Namibia, Kenya, and Nigeria.
In South Africa, the mining sector is the major player in building large renewable projects to mitigate the effects of load-shedding and diversify their energy streams away from fossil fuels.
So far, Standard Bank has mobilised R28 billion in the first half of 2023, with over R55 billion financed in 2022.
R30 billion over 2022 and 2023 has gone directly into new renewable energy power plants.