Global corporate funding in the solar power sector grew by $11.7 billion, or 24%, in 2020 compared to 2019 — despite the coronavirus pandemic. That figures covers a broad range of financing methods — venture capital funding, private equity (VC) funding, debt financing, and public market financing.
That’s more annual funding for solar than has been seen since 2015, a year that saw far more solar financing, which was slightly lower than the year before, 2014. Additionally, the 2020 corporate solar funding was not even half of the 2010 total. Though, there’s no denying the pandemic put a dent in the market. Corporate funding was down 25% in the first half of the year.
As with other cleantech — or tech broadly — sectors, the solar sector did particularly well on the stock market. “The solar ETF was up 225%, with 15 solar stocks up over 100% in 2020. Public market funding was also up with the help of several IPOs, and debt financing was up on the back of securitization deals. Solar asset acquisitions were at an all-time high in a pandemic year and have become even more sought-after as an investment haven, especially in the uncertain COVID economy,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
Some further details from Mercom are as follows:
- $8.3 billion in debt financing, a 6.4% increase compared to 2019.
- $2.2 billion across 8 securitization deals — a new annual record.
- $1.2 billion invested across 41 deals through global venture capital and private equity funding in solar industry (compared to $1.4 billion across 53 deals in 2019).
Furthermore, “There were 231 large-scale solar project acquisitions in 2020 compared to 192 transactions in 2019.
“A record 39.5 GW of large-scale solar projects changed hands in 2020 compared to 26.1 GW in 2019. This was the largest amount of projects acquired in a single year to date.”
For more details, if you have $600 to drop on this, you can buy the full report from Mercom.
Notably, as reported previously, the International Energy Agency declared in 2020 that solar power had become the cheapest option for electricity in history.