Brad Sterley, Global Head, Clean Energy Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered, Singapore
What kinds of finance are available and which options are best suited to particular regions and technologies?
A full range of financial products is available but the most common is non- or limited recourse finance. This is the most common form of financing for clean energy projects globally and is particularly relevant in Asia where developers are frequently not well capitalised. Also, generation capacity in most Asian markets is capped at quite low levels (China is an exception) so there is no shortage of liquidity nor reason to “re-invent the wheel”. Commercial banks frequently provide such finance alongside ECAs, DFIs and MLAs, particularly in less developed countries and/or for newer technologies.
What prevents investors from investing in renewable companies and projects?
Unsupportive, unclear and/or inconsistent policy.
What are the major challenges facing developers and how can they be overcome?
Licensing and permitting procedures. This differs from country to country but includes access to land, building approvals, environmental permits and, very often, grid connection.