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Standard Bank aims to raise R250bn to fund renewable energy projects by 2026

Khulekani Magubane Financial reporter
Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala says the bank is deepening its finance provision for individuals investing in alternative forms of power for their households. File image.
Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala says the bank is deepening its finance provision for individuals investing in alternative forms of power for their households. File image.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala said the bank was deepening its commitment to funding renewable energy for corporate clients as a part of supporting South Africa’s just energy transition.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the 15th annual Brics Summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Tshabalala said the company sought to have a quarter of a trillion rand raised for the funding of renewable projects in the next three years.

“In the case of Standard Bank, the ratio of renewables to traditional forms of energy in the nature of fossil fuels is roughly four-and-a-half to one. Between now and the beginning of this year we raised R80bn for renewables and Standard Bank has a target of R250bn by 2026,” said Tshabalala.

He said the bank was also deepening its finance provision for individuals investing in alternative forms of power for their households, and Standard Bank's insurance business had R13bn in assets under management for renewables.

Tshabalala said the data on climate change gave a compelling case for companies to ensure South Africa can achieve a just energy transition as soon and as sustainably as possible.

“The fundamental principle is to say we recognise as Standard Bank that the world has warmed by 1.1ºC since the 1880s. There is no question that the science is saying the environment is definitely changing and getting warmer,” Tshabalala said.

He said when world leaders gather in Brazil for the Congress of Parties Climate Change Conference in 2025, the world needed to acknowledge Africa was allowed to become “a carbon sink” to benefit the global economy and the continent would require significant support to engineer clean energy solutions.

President of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein Ricardo Santin said many opportunities existed for a just transition among the Brics nations, particularly in food production. He said legislation was key to creating incentives for the funding of renewable projects.

“We have a lot of legislation on it and Brazil has a strict forest code so our companies need to work in a circular economy. Good practice is taken very seriously. Brazil has a massive network to support this,” said Santin.

Russia Brics Business Council member and head of strategy, Aleksei Kechko, said Russia had a pragmatic approach towards clean energy which included modernising traditional energy infrastructure, a solution that was more affordable than new infrastructure for many countries.

“You have some old infrastructure that is producing heat and energy for you, and instead of producing something new which is expensive, you can modernise what you have today. It is more efficient to modernise than to replace the infrastructure,” said Kechko.

Executive chair of the State Grid Corporation of China, Baoan Xin, said China was a major role player in renewable energy and clean energy. He said China is also a contributor and pioneer in funding renewable energy in the Global South.

“We subsidise partners with financial and technological needs and we help other Brics countries develop new and clean energy. We have established 11 cross-border grids from Ethiopia to Kenya to Egypt, and 500kv to transmit clean energy,” he said.

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