Total corporate funding – including venture capital, public market and debt financing – into the solar sector in the first quarter reached $1.9 billion, 31% lower compared to the $2.8 billion raised in the first quarter of 2019, according to Mercom Capital Group’s recent report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the global solar sector.
The decrease in total corporate funding was primarily due to lower venture capital and public market financing activity in Q1 as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted solar markets around the world.
“Funding levels dropped in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic brought the global economy to a halt. Most large economies are shut down, and there is minimal activity in solar markets,” says Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
“Solar project M&A was the bright spot in this time of uncertainty, proving once again that solar is a safe long-term bet. The worst may be yet to come, but hope is that activity picks up in the second half of the year,” he adds
There were 55 large-scale solar project acquisitions (eight disclosed for $4.1 billion) in the first quarter compared to 54 large-scale solar project acquisitions (20 disclosed for $1.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2019.
Over 12 GW of solar projects were acquired in the first quarter compared to 10.1 GW in Q4 2019. In a year-over-year comparison, 5.9 GW were acquired in the first quarter of 2019.
Oil and gas majors were the most active project acquirers in the first quarter, acquiring 6,452 MW of solar projects. Investment firms acquired 4,149 MW, followed by project developers, which picked up 937 MW.
To see Mercom Capital Group’s full report on corporate solar funding, click here.
Photo: Mercom Capital Group’s landing page