Bank loans extended to green energy sector top NT$1 trillion

Taipei--The outstanding loans extended by the local banking sector to the country's green energy industry has topped NT$1 trillion (US$33.22 billion), according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

Citing the data, the FSC said that the loans to the local green energy business hit NT$1.02 trillion as of the end of April since the commission, the top financial regulator in Taiwan, encouraged banks here to lend financial support to the industry in recent years.

FSC Chairman Lee Ruey-tsang (???) said that the local financial sector has served as a driver to push for green energy development by providing capital at a time when the government has listed renewable energy development on the top of its agenda.

By 2025, the government hopes to raise the percentage of power generated from renewable energy sources to 20 percent of the country's total power generation, up from the current 5 percent.

As a result, Lee said that fund demand from solar and offshore wind power developers are expected to total about NT$1 trillion and NT$540 billion, respectively, by 2025.

The financial sector will no doubt be able to make contributions to the green energy development in the country, Lee said.

In addition to banks, the FSC has also encouraged the local insurance sector, which is sitting on a large chunk of funds, to provide loans to the green energy sector.

As of the end of April, the FSC has approved green power plant investment plans worth NT$4.62 billion submitted by Cathay Life Insurance Co. (????), Fubon Life Insurance Co. (????), Taiwan Life Insurance Co. (????) and Tokio Marine Newa Insurance Co. (??????).

The FSC said that it has also relaxed restrictions on green energy developers' stock listings in the local bourse in a bid to allow them to gain easier access to the local capital market for funding.

According the the FSC, Cathay United Bank (????) and E. Sun Commercial Bank (???) in 2015 signed the Equator Principle, which has been adopted by 90 financial institutions from 37 countries as a risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project financing.

E. Sun Bank, along with three other banks in Taiwan -- KGI Bank (???) and Bank SinoPac (???) -- issued the first green bonds last week worth about NT$5.17 billion.

The green bonds of the four banks will fund environmentally friendly projects to show corporate responsibility with regard to environmental protection.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel