A local bank recently launched its renewable energy financing for micro and small SMEs in Malaysia, as part of its RM15-billion SME allocation for 2019 – 2020 and its sustainability commitment.
The programme was launched at CIMB’s The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit and was witnessed by the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, in Kuala Lumpur.
The bank has allocated RM100 million to the CIMB SME Renewable Energy Financing programme. One of the first initiatives under this programme is to provide smaller SMEs with 100% financing to cover the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and installation on their rooftops.
The financing initiative offers packages from as low as RM20,000 and up to RM1 million, in support of the government’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) scheme. SMEs need to first obtain the NEM approval from SEDA, to be eligible for the bank’s Renewable Energy Financing.
The financing initiative provides a practical solution to enable even the smaller and micro SMEs to purchase solar PV systems to save on their electricity bills and contribute to planet earth’s well-being.
The Group CEO of the bank stated that with the Renewable Energy Financing programme, the bank is able to incorporate environmentally friendly policies into its commitment to the SME sector.
Currently, the planet is at a tipping point, from an environmental, economic and social (EES) perspective, and the time to take action is now, the CEO stated.
To that end, members of the banking and finance industry can and must leverage the bank’s resources and network to catalyse real lasting change across these fronts and to begin pursuing profits with a purpose.
Apart from the SME Renewable Energy Financing, the group has also taken other steps to fulfil its commitment to Sustainability, a key pillar in its current growth strategy.
These include launching its Group Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Financing Policy to guide decisions on operations and lending policies to ensure positive EES impact.
Further, the bank is one of 30 founding member banks and the only ASEAN banking group that helped draft the UNEP-FI’s Principles of Responsible Banking, currently supported by 130 signatory banks globally.
In September 2019, the bank also announced that it had successfully priced its US$680 million SDG bond, the proceeds of which will be channelled to various impactful sectors that serve seven of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that the group has committed to.
The world population is currently living in extremely challenging times with issues such as climate change, water scarcity and increasing wealth inequality. The aim is to engage with key stakeholders as leaders believe we must, can and will solve all these issues.
Raising the use of RE in Malaysia
According to an earlier OpenGov Asia report, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) aims to raise its net energy metering (NEM) programme output to 300 megawatts (MW) this year.
Last year, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA) approved 102MW under the NEM programme, adding that the 300MW target can be achieved through the new NEM policy implemented last year.
Under the new NEM policy, Malaysia is using a ‘one-on-one’ offset basis, whereby if the energy generated is purchased at 50 sen, it is sold at 50 sen, and this worthwhile investment saw a high take-up rate which led to the generation of 102MW in clean energy last year.
Under the NEM programme, the energy produced by the solar photovoltaic (PV) system is first utilised and any excess can be sold to the only electric utility company in Peninsular Malaysia.
The programme is an initiative by MESTECC to boost renewable energy (RE) use in Malaysia. Initiatives by industry players and members of academia are also welcome.