Major banks move to make extra funding available more easily for renewable energy and other green projects

Funding for renewable energy projects is expected to become easier in India as Banks and private equity investors begin to look at clean energy projects as viable businesses propositions to invest in. HSBC chief executive, Stuart Davis, said that there were numerous investors who were keen on getting into the renewable sector if a viable business proposition from the sector is proposed. As such, it is hoped the ease of funding will follow such viable business offers.


On Saturday, many participants at the Green Business Leaders Award pointed out that carbon trading begins to generate revenue after project completion and thus, if there is no commitment from the banks at the start, it is difficult to complete such projects. Additionally, the banks played a critical role as advisors, investors and insurers, and are exceptionally placed to support individual companies and projects that promote sustainable development.


The Financial Express and Emerging Ventures India said that banks, other than cutting down their stand alone emissions, had to channel investments as well into the low-carbon projects and seek to cut down on projects in carbon intensive investments. In response, representatives from various banks in India present at the function confirmed that funding will be availed for clean energy investment projects.


Green leader’s award winners in the banking industry, HSBC, ICICI and HDFC said that they are not only keen on investing in renewable energy projects but would also cut down their own carbon emissions via different initiatives. ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector lender, confirmed that it had been into renewable energy development for years and would continue offering funding for other projects. Currently, ICICI provides a 50% waiver on loan processing for green vehicles and green homes and said that it would additionally create new initiatives to further renewable energy projects.


The Bank’s CEO said that renewable energy projects ensured huge returns because of the predictable long-term cash flow guaranteed by an increasing focus by governments globally. India’s renewable energy Minister, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, said that the government intends to focus more on the renewable energy sector in the coming years and urged corporate companies’ investing in the sector to make use of advanced technology available for cost effectiveness over the long term.


Climate change offers an opportunity for banks to diversify their investment and retail product lines. With socially responsible investing on the rise, banks like State Bank of India and YES Bank are also generating additional business.


June 8, 2010.