Corporate solar funding across the first half of the year reached a total of $4.6 billion according to new figures from energy communications and consulting firm Mercom.
In its latest report detailing funding and merger & acquisition (M&A) for the global solar sector, Mercom Capital tracks all corporate funding across the entire global solar sector. The latest figures for the first half of 2017 showed that funding was slightly up on the same period a year ago, $4.6 billion over 97 deals in 1H’17 compared to $4.5 billion over 79 deals in 1H’16. For the whole of 2016, corporate funding for solar reached $9.1 billion, a significant decline of 64% on 2015 figures.
“There is a great deal of uncertainty in the solar markets right now, which is reflected in funding activity,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “However, solar public companies, especially on the U.S. stock markets, have done well this year. A lot is riding on how the Suniva anti-dumping case plays out as it will dictate market dynamics going forward.”
Global venture capital (VC) funding — which includes venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital — was 23% higher with $713 million, compared to $579 million raised in 1H 2016.
The top VC deals for the first half of the year included the $200 million raised by ReNew Power Ventures, $155 million raised by Greenko Energy Holdings, and the $125 million brought in by Hero Future Energies.
Solar public market funding was significantly higher in the first half of the year compared to the same period a year ago, taking in $934 million compared to $276 million. Announced debt financing (which is not necessarily always the full total, as some companies keep these secret) reached $3 billion compared to $3.7 billion.
Announced large-scale project funding through the first half of the year amounted to $7.4 billion over 81 projects, and announced residential and commercial solar funds totaled $1.8 billion in the first half of this year, compared to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2016.
A total of 40 merger & acquisition transactions were recorded in the first half, compared to 30 in the same period a year ago, and 100 large-scale project acquisitions totaling 10.6 GW — led by investment firms and funds, acquiring 37 projects totaling 4.2 GW, followed by project developers with 17 transactions totaling 4.6 GW.