April 10 (Renewables Now) - Total global corporate funding in the solar sector registered a 10% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2019, coming at USD 2.8 billion (EUR 2.48bn), statistics by Mercom Capital Group LLC show.
“Funding levels were up slightly year-over-year in Q1 2019, but the solar industry was on a much stronger footing at the beginning of this year compared to a year earlier [..],” said Mercom’s CEO Raj Prabhu. He explained that the past year was marked by anti-dumping duties on photovoltaic (PV) product imports in India, new capacity limitations and feed-in tariffs (FiT) cuts in China, as well as a global module oversupply, but the market has now started to rebound. China’s 2019 solar policy, however, will have “a significant impact” on the solar industry, Prabhu pointed out.
The global corporate funding total includes venture capital (VC) and private equity funding, public market and debt financing. Mercom’s report contains data from 297 companies.
Global VC funding in January-March 2019 increased to USD 176 million in 13 deals from USD 161 million a year ago. Most of the funding was in the downstream solar sector, with a total of USD 111 million raised in seven deals. The five largest transactions were the USD 65 million raised by Yellow Door Energy, USD 41 million by Oxford PV, USD 37 million by BBOXX, USD 20 million by Aurora Solar and USD 5 million raised by PEG Africa.
Solar public market funding, meanwhile, more than doubled, increasing to USD 247 million in three deals from USD 103 million in the year-ago period. Announced debt financing activity also improved, climbing to USD 2.35 billion from USD 2.3 billion, with most of the debt being secured by solar downstream companies. There were three securitisation deals registered in the reporting period.
There was USD 5.68 billion of large-scale project funding announced for 43 projects in the six-month period, reaching a record-high level and improving from the USD 2.7 billion raised in 57 project funding deals a year ago. In the residential and commercial sector, meanwhile, deals for two projects were announced, totalling USD 207 million and down from USD 400 million a year before.
In the first quarter of 2019, there were 18 merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, 14 of which involved solar downstream players. Acquisitions were completed for about 5.9 GW of photovoltaic (PV) projects, against 7.7 GW in the first three months of 2018.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.887)