Standard Bank Group invests R50 billion on renewable energy projects
Standard Bank Group, of which Stanbic Bank Zambia is a member, has stated that R50 billion has been set aside for renewable energy projects over the next three-years across all its operating regions.
Speaking on a panel discussion of the 10th Zambia International Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (ZIMEC) in Kitwe recently, Standard Bank Group Head Power, Client Coverage, Rentia van Tonder, advised that the Group had set aside R50 billion to help increase uptake in renewable energy sources across the region.
“Standard Bank Group has committed to mobilise a cumulative amount of between R250 billion and R300 billion for sustainable finance by the end of 2026. Of that target, R50 billion will be focused over the next three years on Renewable energy. This is not only in South Africa, but on the broader continent,” Ms van Tonder said at the just ended 2022 ZIMEC.
“From the onset of the year-to-date, we have already committed close to R20 billion just for this financial year, we will track our progress to monitor as we go forward. It is fair to note that these opportunities take long to develop and to reach financial close. However, we do find that there is definitely more traction and appetite, in terms of clients looking at transitioning to net zero and fast-tracking renewable energy as a key value proposition, not only now, but well into the future.”
Ms Van Tonder explained that the funds set aside over the next three years across the 20 markets the Group operates in Africa were focused mainly on solar and wind power projects.
She further observed that there was need to prioritise sustainable energy to drive growth across African economies.
“The theme around sustainability, unlocking growth for mining companies with energy transitioning is absolutely critical. Sustainable energy unlocks growth in the mining sector. And what I have noted is that there is close collaboration between the mining and energy sectors,’ said Ms Van Tonder.
‘To reach Government’s target of 3 million tonnes in copper production in the next five to ten years, it will be a challenge to achieve the target outside the sustainable energy development agenda,” she continued.
Ms van Tonder equally advised mining houses to consider captive power solutions as they look at their green ambitions. She advised that Stanbic Bank has developed capabilities and expertise in financing of renewable energy and stand ready to support captive power and hybrid systems with solar and battery energy storage systems.
Speaking earlier during a panel discussion dubbed Clean & Green – Prioritising Renewable Energy Projects and Energy Infrastructure Investment Opportunities, Ms van Tonder stated that that there was a need to develop more regional investment projects that transcended national borders.
This is especially relevant as countries can now come together and develop something that’s workable for a specific opportunity or project.
‘What we need to do is take more of a regional view and have the ability to plug into regional transition networks to become more of regional players. So, if one considers a more sizable investment, energy tariffs will be more competitive and attractive as economies of scale benefits will be realised. At the end of the day, one will have a conducive investment environment, and the lenders -will be able to consider funding in the energy sector,” said Ms van Tonder.