Global Solar Corporate Funding Reaches $10 Billion in 2018

100 GW of large-scale solar projects have been acquired since 2010

AUSTIN, Texas--()--Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, has released its annual report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the 2018 solar sector.

Global corporate funding into the solar sector, including venture capital and private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing totaled $9.7 billion (B) compared to the $12.8B raised in 2017.

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Chart: Solar Corporate Funding 2010-2018

"2018 was a year filled with uncertainties which started with Section 201 tariffs followed by an announcement from China that it was capping installations and reducing its feed-in-tariff. More bad news came from India which imposed safeguard duties on imports. 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,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Global VC funding for the solar sector in 2018 fell 18 percent to $1.3B in 65 deals from $1.6B in 99 deals in 2017.

Chart: Solar VC Funding 2010-2018

Of the $1.3B in VC funding raised in 65 deals in 2018, $1.2B went to 50 Solar Downstream companies.

VC funding into PV technology companies came to $37 million (M), and Service Providers raised $28M. Balance of System (BOS) companies raised $25M, Thin-film companies raised $25M, and Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) raised $2.4M.

The top solar VC funded companies in 2018 included Cypress Creek Renewables with $200M, GreenYellow with $174M, Amp Solar with $154M, Wunder Capital with $112M, and Sunnova Energy with $100M.

Chart: Top Solar VC Funded Companies in 2018

Public market financing in 2018 came to $2.3B in 21 deals compared to $1.7B in 33 deals in 2017.

In 2018, announced debt financing came to $6B in 53 deals versus $9.5B in 74 deals during 2017. There were five securitization deals totaling $1.4B compared to $1.3B in 2017.

Large-scale project funding announced in 2018 came to $14B in 182 deals versus $14B in 167 deals during 2017. 182 investors funded ~15 GW of large-scale solar projects in 2018.

The top large-scale project investors included the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Dutch development bank FMO and Natixis.

Chart: Solar Top M&A Transactions in 2018

There were 82 solar merger and acquisition transactions in 2018 compared to 72 transactions in 2017, with solar downstream companies accounting for 49.

Chart: Large-Scale Project Acquisitions 2010-2018

The solar sector set a record in 2018 with 29GW of project acquisitions. There were 218 large-scale solar project acquisitions in 2018 compared to 228 transactions in 2017.

"About 100 GW of large-scale projects have been acquired since 2010, a reflection of how far solar has come as an asset class. Quality solar projects are now a mature, attractive investment opportunity around the world,” added Prabhu.

About Mercom Capital Group

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


Mercom Capital Group
Wendy Prabhu, 1-512-215-4452


Mercom Capital Group
Wendy Prabhu, 1-512-215-4452