South Africa
SBSA Generic
Sustainable development 5 Oct 2023

Standard Bank one of the largest renewable funders in South Africa

Standard Bank South Africa has made significant strides in its commitment to sustainable finance and renewable energy initiatives. making the Group one of the largest investor in green energy in the country. This demonstrates Standard Bank’s dedication to supporting renewable energy efforts.

Sustainable finance

Since the launch of its climate policy in March 2022, Standard Bank has been tracking ahead of its target to raise between R250 billion to R300 billion for sustainable finance by the end of 2026. In 2022, the bank exceeded its goal by executing 29 sustainable finance transactions with a total value of R55 billion. The bank's 2023 run rate is higher compared to the same period last year, which is promising for this year’s R50 billion mobilization targets.

Lungisa Fuzile, Standard Bank South Africa CEO says: "Standard Bank takes Africa’s social, economic, and environmental context as the starting point for its climate policy commitments. The bank aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2040 and from its portfolio of financed emissions by 2050, aligning with the Paris Agreement. In the first half of 2023, Standard Bank mobilised R28 billion for sustainable finance, bringing the cumulative amount since FY22 to R83 billion."

Renewable energy

In 2022, Standard Bank financed R5 in renewable energy for every R1 lent to non-renewable power, indicating a strong commitment to renewable energy financing. This is a remarkable achievement and showcases the bank’s focus on renewable energy initiatives.

The bank also provided R30 billion in financing for new renewable energy power plants, contributing to its cumulative financing efforts since FY22.

Standard Bank has emerged as the leading renewable investor in the country, demonstrating its dedication to sustainable development and a just energy transition for the whole continent.

Standard Bank's Corporate and Investment Banking is on track to exceed its renewable investment targets. Standard Bank exceeded its R40 billion 2022 goal by executing 29 sustainable finance transactions with a total value of R55 billion as the bank ramped up its origination efforts to support clients to achieve their climate and sustainability goals. Standard Bank also funded and committed under REIPPP and RMIPPP currently R52,5bn or 3GW, while 3 projects have not yet reached financial close (2x RMIPP and 1x bd5).

On decentralised energy: projects, three reached Financial close already (Tronox, ARM and Lephalale) totaling 370MW under construction with a pipeline of 1GW reaching financial close within 6 months and another 2-3GW pipeline still under discussion.

The bank has disbursed funds to individuals in South Africa for installing solar solutions or purchasing 'green-aligned' homes. By the end of 2023, Standard Bank aims to provide up to R1.2 billion in financing for these initiatives.

Through its LookSee home efficiency digital platform, Standard Bank has installed over R60m worth of Home Solar systems for customers, 350% growth YOY. There has also been a dramatic increase in the financing of solar systems through Home loan re-advances and personal loans – over R105m this year. These efforts have resulted in significant savings for South African homeowners, with an estimated annual savings of almost R14 million being realized through the Home efficiency solutions that have been provided to customers.

To ease the demand on the grid and promote energy efficiency, Standard Bank and LookSee have installed over 3700 Solar panels on homes, which is providing over 5000 tons of CO2 offset.

Supporting small businesses, the Bank has disbursed over R1.1 billion to support solar solutions providers and facilitate access to renewable energy for its SME clients. As a result of these efforts, clients have installed 656 renewable energy systems generating 192 MW of power from green sources. Standard Bank is also the first bank to participate in the Energy Bounce-Back Loan Guarantee Scheme, which will offer affordable solar loans to both Personal and Business Clients.

We expect to see an increased appetite as demand for solar energy alternative solutions increases. Simone Cooper, Standard Bank Head of Business and Commercial Banking SA says, "Real solutions for real challenges. We have already seen that the average small business spend on renewable energy approximates R2.1m. These investments start to make a lot of sense not only in energy saving, and productive output, but makes it more appealing as businesses consider their role in energy buy-back schemes and even electrification of fleets in the future."

"Standard Bank South Africa is proud to support its customers in their transition towards sustainable energy solutions. These investments contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a greener future for South Africa, says Fuzile."

For more information about Standard Bank South Africa's climate goals and initiatives, please visit Standard Bank Climate Strategy.