UOB Launches Solar Industry Ecosystem

United Overseas Bank (UOB) on Tuesday launched U-Solar, the first solar industry ecosystem in Asia to power the development and adoption of renewable energy across Southeast Asia.

Through U-Solar, the bank connects businesses and consumers in order to aid each play their role in their collective efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy, UOB said in a media statement on Tuesday. Malaysia is the first ASEAN country in which UOB is rolling out its U-Solar ecosystem.

«A sustainable energy industry is key to maintaining healthy development of the economy and community. In working together with our ecosystem partners and customers to open up and to tap opportunities in the solar power industry, we can create a positive economic and social impact,» said Wee Ee Cheong, deputy Chairman and chief executive officer.

Supporting The Value Chain

Through U-Solar, the bank offers a suite of financial solutions to support the solar power value chain, from solar project developers, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, as well as the end-users of solar power, including consumers and companies. In supporting the growth of the solar power industry, UOB provides solar project developers with solutions in green financing, such as «sukuk», project loans and portfolio financing, as well as cash management services.

For EPC contractors, the bank offers end-to-end contract-based financing solutions, from bid bonds and letters of credit issuance to performance guarantees and working capital facilities. Through U-Solar’s online portal, the bank also connects these industry players to potential customers seeking solar power solutions for their factories, offices or homes. To promote the adoption of solar power by the end-users which include companies and consumers, U-Solar offers a one-stop shop for them to plug easily into the services offered by UOB’s partners across the region.

UOB Malaysia’s collaboration with leading local solar energy service providers, starting with ERS Energy, PlusSolar and Solarvest, will offer installation, commissioning, operations and after-sales service packages for solar power systems to help business and homeowners.

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The launch of UOB’s U-Solar program as an ecosystem play caters to the concerns of the solar industry, whereby it is intended to be Asia’s first integrated solar energy marketplace across UOB’s key Southeast Asia markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. I am proud that UOB has chosen Malaysia to be the first country to launch this program, said YB Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Malaysia (MESTECC) at the launch of U-Solar in Malaysia.

Through our research and engagement with our customers, we observed that many of them think that using solar power requires intensive upfront capital and is costly to maintain. With U-Solar, we hope to help our customers understand better the benefits of using solar power and to address their concern of costs by providing them with flexible repayment plans at competitive market rates, said Wong Kim Choong, chief executive of UOB Malaysia.

U-Solar offers two flexible solutions to help Malaysian companies adopt solar power with little upfront capital. Companies can purchase a solar power system for their factory or office with the corresponding green loan offered by UOB Malaysia, and can also apply for a two percent rebate under the government’s Green Technology Financing Scheme 2.01 for their purchase.

They can also benefit from the government’s tax incentives under the «Green Investment Tax Allowance and Green Investment Tax 1A» scheme introduced by the Ministry of Finance Malaysia in April 2018 to accelerate the expansion of green investments by companies via financing from participating financial institutions. Alternatively, businesses can sign up for a long-term solar power leasing agreement with the Bank’s U-Solar partners.

For homeowners, UOB Malaysia offers on U-Solar’s online portal a zero percent interest installment plan of up to 36 months for the purchase of a solar power system. Customers can also enjoy zero upfront costs for services provided by the bank’s U-Solar partners including on-site assessment, installation and maintenance of their solar power panels and systems at their residences.

Through our collaboration with Malaysia’s market-leading solar power service providers, ERS Energy, PlusSolar and Solarvest, we hope to drive greater adoption of solar energy across Malaysia. It will also help support the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia’s Net Energy Metering programme and MESTECC’s renewable energy target of 20 percent in the national power generation mix by 2025, Wong said.

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