January 10 (Renewables Now) - Total global corporate funding in the solar sector marked a 24% year-on-year drop in 2018, coming at USD 9.7 billion (EUR 8.39bn), as several big markets were shaken by uncertainties, an analysis by Mercom Capital Group shows.
“Uncertainty stemming from the three largest solar markets in the world was reflected in equities of publicly-traded solar companies as well as fundraising activity during the year,” said Mercom’s co-founder and CEO Raj Prabhu. He explained that the global market has been impacted by the Section 201 solar tariff case in the US, China’s decision to limit new capacity and cut feed-in tariffs (FiT), and India’s safeguard duties on photovoltaic (PV) product imports.
The global corporate funding total includes venture capital (VC) and private equity funding, public market and debt financing. It contains data from 306 companies.
Global VC funding last year declined by 18% in annual terms to USD 1.3 billion in 65 deals, as compared to USD 1.6 billion in 99 deals in 2017.
Debt financing volumes contracted by 36% to USD 6 billion in 53 deals, of which five securitisation deals totalling USD 1.4 billion. Announced large-scale project funding, meanwhile, remained unchanged at USD 14 billion secured in 183 transactions. The previous year saw 167 such deals.
The past year was a record one for acquisition deals with 29 GW of announced transactions in the sector, as compared to 20.4 GW in 2017. Acquisitions of large-scale projects reached a combined value of USD 8.4 billion in 218 disclosed deals, rising from USD 8.3 billion in 228 transactions in 2017.
Mercom’s CEO noted that projects with a combined capacity of 100 GW have been acquired since 2010, signalling that quality solar schemes are “a mature, attractive investment opportunity around the world.”
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.866)