Report: Market Uncertainty Casts Shadow On Solar Sector Corporate Funding

Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital, public market and debt financing, in the first half of 2017 (H1’17) was slightly up compared to the same period in 2016 – with about $4.6 billion raised compared to the $4.5 billion raised in H2’16, according to Mercom Capital Group. In a recently released report, the clean energy communications and consulting firm says there were 97 deals in H1’17 compared to the 79 deals in H1’16.

However, the report says corporate funding in the solar sector fell in the second quarter of this year (Q2’17), with $1.4 billion raised in 37 deals compared to the $3.2 billion raised in 60 deals in Q1’16. Year-over-year (YoY) funding in Q2’17 was about 17% lower compared to the $1.7 billion raised in Q2’16.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty in the solar markets right now, which is reflected in funding activity. 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,” comments Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

According to the report, global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector in H1’17 was 23% higher, with $713 million compared to the $579 million raised in H1’16, largely due to a strong first quarter in 2017.

In Q2’17, VC funding for the solar sector saw a steep decline, with $128 million in 23 deals compared to $585 million in 22 deals in Q1’17. Most of the VC funding in Q2’17 went to solar downstream companies (72%); $92 million was raised in 15 deals.

The report says top VC deals in H1’17 included the $200 million raised by ReNew Power Ventures, followed by the $155 million raised by Greenko Energy Holdings, the $125 million secured by Hero Future Energies, Silicon Ranch’s $55 million, the $25 million raise by Siva Power and the $25 million raise by Spruce Finance. A total of 55 investors participated in solar funding in H1’17, the report adds.

Notably, solar public market funding was much higher in H1’17 compared to the first half of 2016, with $934 million raised compared to $276 million in H1’16. Public market financing was slightly up in Q2’17, with $473 million raised in six deals compared to the $461 million in 13 deals in Q1’17.

Announced debt financing in H1’17 came to $3 billion, compared to $3.7 billion in H1’16. In Q2’17, announced debt financing fell to $798 million in eight deals compared to $2.2 billion in 25 deals in Q1’17. There was one securitization deal in Q2’17 by Sunnova, which raised $255 million, according to the report.

Announced large-scale project funding in H1’17 came to $7.4 billion in 81 projects. In Q2’17, announced large-scale project funding came in at $4.8 billion in 48 deals.

Announced residential and commercial solar funds totaled $1.8 billion in H1’17 compared to $2.3 billion in the same period of 2016.

In H1’17, there were a total of 40 merger and acquisition (M&A)t ransactions, compared to 30 in the same period of 2016. There were 11 solar M&A transactions in Q2’17 compared to 29 solar M&A transactions in Q1’17 and 16 transactions in Q2’16. Of the 11 total transactions in Q2’17, eight involved solar downstream companies, two involved PV manufacturers, and one transaction was by a balance-of-systems company.

The report adds that there were 100 large-scale project acquisitions in H1’17 totaling 10.6 GW, compared to 90 project acquisitions totaling 4.5 GW in the first half of 2016.

Investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers in H1’17, picking up 37 projects totaling 4.2 GW, followed by project developers with 17 transactions for 4.6 GW.

Mercom says it tracked 206 new large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q2’17 totaling 11.1 GW.

To learn more about the report, visit Mercom’s site here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here