NAB Milestone Shows Appetite Remains Strong For Renewable Energy Projects

Australian lender National Australia Bank’s (NAB) renewable energy lending book shows continued growth for global renewable projects as the bank completes its 200th renewable energy transaction with Squadron Energy.

The milestone brings NAB’s committed renewable energy project funding to A$16.8 billion since 2003. A track record that has seen NAB recognised as Australia’s leading bank for project finance to the global renewable energy sector.

NAB Group Executive Corporate & Institutional Banking, David Gall, said the bank has seen significant growth in renewable energy financing in recent years, adding further growth is expected over the next decade.

“In the 2023 financial year, NAB lent more than A$2.2 billion to global renewable energy projects and has almost matched this figure in the first half of FY2024 alone, with another A$1.9 billion in financing already committed to the sector,” Mr Gall said.

“The growth is being driven by a notable increase in the scale of the projects in development which, in turn, has called for greater funding.

“Our latest renewable energy transaction with Squadron Energy for its 69-turbine Uungula Wind Farm is evidence of this shift. Uungula’s 414MW capacity is more than six-times greater than the first Australian wind farm we funded back in 2005.”

This increase in scale will assist in Australia’s efforts to meet its 2030 renewable energy target of 82% and aligns with the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan 2024, which outlines installed capacity of renewables will grow from around 18GW in 2022-23 to over 60GW in 2030-31.

Squadron Energy Executive GM, Development, Ed Mounsey, said the developer’s 14GW pipeline of renewable projects, which will bring online enough energy to power the equivalent of six million homes, will meet around one third of Australia’s national target.

“In addition to the decarbonisation benefits, the Uungula Wind farm will also create more than 260 jobs for regional NSW and inject approximately A$41 million into the local economy. NAB’s ongoing financial backing has been essential in progressing this project,” Mounsey said.

Renewable energy funding is just one aspect of NAB’s overall environmental financing strategy. In 2022, three years earlier than anticipated, NAB achieved its target to provide A$70 billion in environmental financing to help address climate change and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“We know a substantial amount of capital investment will be needed in a relatively short period of time for businesses to meet their decarbonation objectives. NAB continues to work in partnership with clients to provide banking expertise and high-value financing and investment options to support the transition,” Mr Gall said.