Solar Industry Corporate Funding Surges Up 41 Percent With $12.8 Billion in 2017, Reports Mercom Capital Group

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mercom Capital Group, llc, a clean energy research and communications firm, has released its 2017 Q4 and annual report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector.

Total global corporate funding into the solar sector, including venture capital/private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing came to $12.8 billion (B), compared to $9.1B raised in 2016.


Chart: Solar Corporate Funding 2010-2017

"A strong fourth quarter pushed overall funding higher in 2017. Higher installation levels around the world, the lack of threat to the solar investment tax credit, lower than expected tariff recommendation by U.S. ITC, strong debt financing activity, and over a billion dollars in securitization deals helped the solar industry have a much better year in terms of financial activity compared to 2016. After several challenging years, most of the solar securities were up in 2017 reflecting overall positive sentiments around the solar industry even as several Chinese manufacturers decided to go private. Of course, all this could change swiftly if President Trump decides to impose higher tariffs in the trade case," commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group.

Global VC investments came to $1.6B in 99 deals in 2017, up from $1.3B in 78 deals in 2016.

Chart: Solar VC Funding 2010-2017

Solar downstream companies accounted for $1.4B in 2017. Thin-film companies raised $106 million (M), service providers raised $47M, PV technology companies raised $40M, Balance of Systems (BoS) companies raised $36M, concentrated solar power companies raised $8M and concentrator photovoltaics companies received $6M.

Chart: Solar Top VC/PE Funded Companies in 2017

The top VC/PE deals reported in 2017 were all over $100M.Five of the top six VC funding deals came from India.

162 VC/PE investors participated in funding rounds in 2017, eight with multiple rounds: Engie, Avista Development, DSM Venturing, InnoEnergy, Innogy, International Finance Corporation, Shell, and Techstars.

Public market financing in 2017 reached $1.7B in 33 deals. Three IPOs were logged in 2017 for $363M: Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund, New Energy Solar Fund, and Clenergy.

Debt financing totaled $9.5B in 2017. There were six securitization deals in 2017 totaling $1.3B. For the first time, securitization deals surpassed $1B.

Announced large-scale project funding in 2017 reached $14B in 167 deals, compared to $9.4B in 133 deals during 2016.

A total of 161 investors funded about 20.5 GW of large-scale solar projects in 2017 compared to 5.9 GW funded by 153 investors in 2016.

The top investors in large-scale projects included Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Santander, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Siemens Financial Services.

$2.4B was raised by 16 residential and commercial solar project funds in 2017, compared to $4.9B by 30 funds in 2016. Since 2009, solar residential and commercial funds raised more than $24.8 billion.

There were 71 corporate M&A transactions in 2017, solar downstream companies accounted for 51. The largest was the $1.6B acquisition of FTP Power (sPower).

Chart: Solar Top 5 M&A Transactions in 2017

There was a record 228 large-scale solar project acquisitions in 2017 for more than 20.4 GW.

Mercom tracked 922 large-scale project announcements world-wide totaling 50.1 GW in 2017.

To get the full report, visit:

About Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group is a global research and communications firm focused on clean energy. Mercom produces funding and market intelligence reports covering Solar, Smart Grid, Battery Storage and Efficiency. Mercom advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision-making, visit:

Wendy Prabhu

Source:Mercom Capital Group