January 8 (SeeNews) - Total global corporate funding in the solar sector decreased to USD 25.3 billion (EUR 23.3bn) in 2015 from USD 26.5 billion in 2014, according to the latest report by Mercom Capital Group LLC.
Last year was a record one for both public market financing, rising to nearly USD 6 billion in 38 deals from USD 5.2 billion in 52 deals, and for dollars raised in residential and commercial solar project funds, with 23 funds unveiled for a combined total of USD 5.5 billion, up from USD 4 billion in 34 funds a year earlier. There were seven initial public offerings (IPOs) surpassing USD 1.8 billion in total, including those of two yieldcos -- TerraForm Global and 8point3 Energy Partners.
Meanwhile, global venture capital (VC) investments went down to USD 1.1 billion in 83 deals from USD 1.3 billion in 85 deals, with solar downstream firms accounting for 69% of the total. The largest VC deal in 2015 was the USD-300-million raised by Sunnova Energy.
Last year’s debt financing in the solar sector declined to USD 18.3 billion from USD 20 billion. More than half of the sum raised came from China. The unveiled large-scale project funding surpassed USD 11.6 billion in 124 deals, but was down compared to the USD 14.2 billion raised in 144 deals a year earlier.
Corporate merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions fell to USD 3 billion in 80 transactions from USD 4 billion in 116 transactions. The largest disclosed one was KKR’s USD-1-billion buy of an 80% stake in Gestamp Asetym Solar from Gestamp Renewables.
Thanks to yieldcos, 2015 proved to be the best year so far for solar project acquisitions, with 204 large-scale solar projects changing hands for over 12.7 GW, Mercom said. For comparison, in 2014 about 6.4 GW of projects were acquired in 163 deals.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.918)