L&T Finance Top Lender to Renewable Energy Projects in India

With Rs 7650 crores, L&T Finance holdings was the top lender for renewable projects in 2018.

L&T Finance Holdings was the biggest lender to renewable energy projects which lent ₹ 7650 crores in 2018.  According to report of the New Delhi-based research and analysis body Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), the overall renewable energy sector received finance from multilateral and bilateral development banks, among others.

The paper titled— Coal vs Renewables 2018 – an annual energy investment trend report – revealed a significant drop in lending to coal power projects compared to 2017.

The top 5 lenders to the renewables sector are:

  1. L&T Finance Holdings with ₹ 7650 crores
  2. IndusInd Bank with ₹2569 Crores
  3. Yes Bank with ₹ 1929 Crores
  4. PTC India Financial Services with ₹ 1553 crores
  5. DBS bank with ₹ 1198 crores

Top lenders to RE in India

The Good News

CFA in its report, analyzed project finance lending to 54 energy projects that reached financial closure in 2018. The report reveals an astonishing 90% decline in 2018 coal power project finance/lending compared to 2017.

Joe Athialy, executive director, Centre for Financial Accountability said, “our analysis shows that investments in coal power is reducing at a significant pace, this trend consistent with global market forces. However, it is important to note that private banks are the ones leading the transition to clean energy in India and not the Government-owned financial institutions or public banks. The government needs to get the public banks and financial institutions to start backing renewable energy more than coal.”

According to the report, of all energy project finance profiled in the study, 80% went to renewables while coal received 20%. Compared to 2017, 2018 saw a 90% decline in lending to coal-fired power plants. In 2018, only 5 coal power projects with a combined capacity of 3.8GW received finance totalling ₹6081 crore (US $850 million). By contrast, in 2017 twelve coal-fired projects with a combined capacity of 17 GW received ₹60,767 crore (US$9.35 billion).

Similar trends were seen last year between public vs private banks and financial institutions.

top coal lenders in India
Top lenders to coal projects in India

The Bad News

Coal power project funding still dominates most of the financial lending from public banks and majority govt owned financial institutions. Whereas private banks and institutions continue to bet big on renewable energy (₹18,263 crore / US$2.64 billion). In the list of top 10 lenders to the renewables, no public sector commercial bank was found. Ironically, the State Bank of India was the top financer to coal projects by lending ₹743 crores (US $109 million).

Of the total lending to coal power projects (₹6081 crore/US $850 million), ₹3,938 crore (US$559 million) came from majority government-owned financial institutions. Whereas of the total lending to renewable power projects (₹24,442 crore/US$3.55 billion), ₹18,263 crore / US$2.64 billion came from majority privately-owned commercial banks. This trend is consistent with findings from 2017.

In 2018, some Indian states clearly paved the pathway for renewable projects. Projects in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat attracted half of the entire country’s project finance for renewables across 23 solar PV and wind projects. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal together attracted project finance for three coal-fired power projects but no renewables.

To read the report in detail click here

Finance in RE sector in India

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