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January 20 (Renewables Now) - Total solar power corporate funding around the world, including venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE), debt and public market financing, jumped by 91% year-on-year to USD 27.8 billion (EUR 24.5bn) in 2021, shows a new report by Mercom Capital Group.
According to the consultancy, the level of annual funding is the highest reached in 10 years. The total compares with USD 14.5 billion raised in 2020. Mercom’s report covers 367 companies and investors.
“Financing activity bounced back strongly following a COVID-19-affected 2020. There was more money than ever chasing deals and more demand than supply of attractive companies and assets as organizations and funds look to fulfill their ESG and clean energy mandates,” said Raj Prabhu, Mecom’s CEO.
During the past year, VC funding zoomed by 281% in annual terms to the record USD 4.5 billion of financing raised in 58 deals, against USD 1.2 billion in 2020. Of the total, USD 3.9 billion was secured from 43 solar downstream companies, while balance of system companies and concentrated solar power (CSP) companies were responsible for USD 219 million and USD 108 million, respectively. Solar photovoltaic (PV) companies accounted for USD 91 million.
In all, 154 VC and PE investors were involved in last year’s solar funding deals. Solar installations financer GoodLeap, formerly Loanpal, was the major contributor by raising USD 1.6 billion in two transactions. Other notable deals were carried out by Silicon Ranch Corp (USD 775m), Aurora Solar (USD 250m), Nexamp (USD 240m), Enpal (USD 175m) and GameChange Solar (USD 150m).
Solar public market financing, meanwhile, jumped by 49% on the year to USD 7.5 billion. Debt financing activity in 2021 came at USD 15.8 billion, up 91% from USD 8.3 billion in 2020. The rise was mostly fuelled by securitisation deals, which accounted for a record USD 3.7 billion raised in 13 deals.
The merger and acquisition (M&A) activity included 126 solar corporate M&A transactions and reached an all-time high.
Large-scale solar project acquisitions represented a combined capacity of 69 GW, a record registered in a total of 280 transactions. For comparison, 40 GW of projects changed hands in the year-ago period.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.880)