Corporate funding in Solar sector up 24%: Report

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 13, 2021 Published on January 13, 2021

Total corporate funding into the solar sector globally, including venture capital, private equity, venture captal, debt financing and public market financing, was up 24 per cent at $14.5 billion in 2020, over $11.7 billion raised in 2019, according to a Mercom Capital report.

“Following a tough first half when corporate funding was down 25 per cent year-over-year, recovery has been swift and broad, with corporate funding up 24 per cent for the year. Publicly-traded solar companies had an unprecedented year. Public market funding was up with the help of several IPOs, and debt financing was up on the back of securitisation deals. Solar asset acquisitions were at an all-time high in a pandemic year and have become more sought-after as an investment haven, especially in the uncertain Covid economy,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO, Mercom Capital Group.

Global venture capital and private equity funding in the solar sector in 2020 was at $1.2 billion in 41 deals, compared to $1.4 billion in 53 deals in 2019. Of the $1.2 billion in VC/PE funding raised in 41 deals in 2020, $1.1 billion went to 27 Solar downstream companies, which accounted for 90 per cent of total VC funding in 2020. Solar Service Providers raised $61 million; PV companies raised $17 million; Balance of System (BOS) companies brought in $15 million; Thin-film technology companies raised $15 million, and Concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) companies raised $5.5 million.

The top VC funded companies in 2020 included Ayana Renewable Power, which raised $390 million, Silicon Ranch Corporation, which brought in $225 million, Brighte, which raised $76 million, Sunseap Group, which raised $72 million, and Aurora Solar and Zero Mass Water, each raising $50 million.

There were 102 VC and PE investors that participated in funding deals in 2020, with five involved in multiple rounds.

Public market financing was up 101 per cent, with $5.1 billion in 2020. Array Technologies raised $1.2 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In 2020, announced debt financing was at $8.3 billion, a 6.4 per cent increase YoY. Eight securitisation deals totaling $2.2 billion were recorded in 2020, which was the largest amount of financing through securitisation in a year.

There were 231 large-scale solar project acquisitions in 2020 compared to 192 transactions in 2019. A record 39.5 GW of large-scale solar projects changed hands in 2020 compared to 26.1 GW in 2019. This was the largest amount of projects acquired in a single year to date.

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Published on January 13, 2021
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