Total corporate funding for the global solar sector reached $25.3 billion in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group.
Mercom Capital Group, one of the leading clean energy communication firms, published its 2015 Q4 and Annual Solar Funding and M&A Report this week, investigating solar market activity covering all corporate funding. According to Mercom, total corporate funding for the fourth quarter of 2015 reached $6.9 billion over 52 deals, up slightly on the quarter before. This brought the total 2015 global corporate funding tally to $25.3 billion over 211 deals, down on 2014’s $26.5 billion over 195 deals.
Total Venture Capital (VC) funding for the year was again down on 2014. The fourth quarter brought in $457 million over 17 deals — which for its part was up on the same quarter a year earlier, which only brought in $315 million over 16 deals — and brought 2015 to a close at a total of $1.1 billion over 83 deals, compared to $1.3 billion in 2014 over 85 deals.
The top VC funded company in 2015 was Sunnova Energy, which raised $300 million from Triangle Peak Partners, GSO Business Group, SEIS Holdings, and Credit Suisse.
The top VC-funded technology type in 2015 was unsurprisingly downstream solar businesses, which brought in a total of $727 million over 45 deals.
Debt financing for 2015 again fell, dropping to $18.3 billion over 90 deals, compared to $19.97 billion over 58 deals in 2014. Public market financing reclaimed some ground, bringing in $5.9 billion over 38 deals for the year, compared to $5.18 billion over 52 deals.
Large-scale project financing dropped again, down to $11.6 billion over 124 deals — though the fourth quarter again picked up over the same quarter a year earlier, probably due in part to the rush in several countries to get in before favourable policies were axed (or were feared to be axed, but weren’t, as was the case in the United States).
The largest large-scale project funding deal in 2015 by dollar amount went to Abengoa, which raised $660 million in non-recourse project financing for its 100 MW Xina Solar One CSP project, being developed in South Africa, thanks to contributions from the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, Industrial Development Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Absa member of Barclays, Nedbank, and Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank.
Corporate Merger & Acquisition (M&A) transactions in 2015 dropped from $4 billion in 2014 to only $3 billion in 2015. The top M&A transaction was the acquisition of an 80% stake in Gestamp Asetym Solar by KKR for $1 billion.
Announced large-scale project acquisitions had a much healthier year, however, raking in $7.3 billion over 204 transactions compared to only $3.2 billion over 163 transactions in 2014. The largest of these acquisitions was the $669 million acquisition of four solar projects totalling 450 MW by Abengoa Yield, from Abengoa.