by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) U-Solar programme has facilitated the generation of nearly 160 gigawatt hours of solar power across the Asean region and simultaneously reducing over 77,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The reduction in GHG emission is equivalent to having nearly 1.3 million new tree seedlings grow over 10 years or taking nearly 17,000 cars off the road for a year.
UOB group wholesale banking and markets head Frederick Chin (picture) said the global pandemic has highlighted and accelerated the need for everyone including countries, companies, communities and individuals to do more to protect and preserve the environment.
“As a leading financial institution in the region, UOB recognises the role we can play in contributing to economic and environmental well-being.
“Through initiatives such as U-Solar, Asia’s first solar industry ecosystem, we provide a platform that helps drive the development of the solar power industry and promotes the use of renewable energy,” he said in a statement.
The programme, launched in October 2019, is part of the bank’s smart city sustainable finance framework, which guides the bank’s financing efforts to support the development of smart and sustainable cities across the region.
It is also the continent’s first solar industry ecosystem to power the development and adoption of renewable energy across Southeast Asia.
The bank offers 0% interest on instalment plans for business and home owners switching to solar power through tie-ups with local solar power service providers.
Over the past few months, the bank added three engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning firms, namely PT Selaras Daya Utama in Indonesia, Pekat Solar Sdn Bhd in Malaysia and BECIS-Symbior in Thailand to its network of U-Solar partners, which brings a total of 14 across the region.