Reading Time: 4 minutes
UOB has launched U-Solar 2.0, an expansion to the U-Solar programme, empowering the industry to scale up the development of the solar industry starting in Singapore. It will be followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by the first quarter of 2023.
This expanded programme will simplify access to sustainable financing for solar project developers, engineering, procurement and construction contractors, and leading equipment suppliers. By connecting these players, U-Solar 2.0 will help ensure a smooth flow of financing for them to meet the growing demand for solar energy.
Mr Frederick Chin, Head of Group Wholesale Banking and Markets, UOB, said, “By employing an end-to-end collaborative approach, UOB aims to simplify sustainable financing and accelerate the development of this critical sector. U-Solar 2.0 supports solar developers, contractors and equipment suppliers in seizing new opportunities, as the region recognises solar energy as one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions.”
U-Solar 2.0 will provide contractors and developers with extended payment terms when they purchase from the programme’s approved equipment suppliers.
Part of the programme’s suite of solutions is green trade financing. This is designed to address cash flow issues and working capital gaps for developers, and contractors who typically have longer receivable terms from projects and may face short payment terms from equipment suppliers. With U-Solar 2.0, they will be able to finance the purchase of equipment and work on multiple solar projects simultaneously, speeding up the rate of solar adoption in the region.
This end-to-end collaborative approach aims to drive sales volumes for equipment suppliers. It will also connect qualified contractors with end users looking to install solar panels. Today, six equipment suppliers – Canadian Solar, Huawei, JA Solar, Jinko Solar, LONGi and Trina Solar – joined the U-Solar programme to provide quality solar modules and inverters to developers and contractors across the region. JJ-Lapp also joined the programme as a distributor to facilitate greater and more efficient trade activities within the solar ecosystem.
Anchored by UOB’s Smart City Sustainable Finance Framework, U-Solar 2.0 will expand the programme’s offerings to players across the entire solar value chain, by including green trade financing under UOB’s Green Trade and Working Capital Sustainable Finance Framework. Both UOB frameworks will enable the wider adoption of green energy, deepening collaboration with industry partners to further enable clients to meet their decarbonisation targets.
Launched in October 2019, U-Solar is Asia’s first integrated solar energy financing platform that powers the development and adoption of renewable energy across Southeast Asia. Through the programme, which is available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, UOB offers businesses and consumers across Southeast Asia a suite of financial solutions to encourage the switch to solar power. UOB also offers exclusive packages to both businesses and homeowners through partnerships with 17 contractors across the four markets.
Since its launch, the programme has benefitted more than 200 companies and 1,700 homeowners by providing financing for them to switch to solar energy. To date, it has helped contribute to the reduction of more than 186,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to over 40,000 passenger cars taken off the road for a year or more than 3 million tree seedlings grown over 10 years.