According to a report from Mercom Capital Group, the amount of global corporate funding in the solar sector in 2015 was $25.3 billion. This figure was down slightly from $26.5 billion in 2014. Some of funding sources were: debt financing, public market financing, yieldcos, and venture capital/private equity (VC).
“Overall it was a good year for the solar sector considering the turbulence in the stock markets and trouble with yieldcos in the 2nd half of the year. The extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was a much needed boost for the sector, paving the way for a strong 2016,” explained Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
So where did the money go?
Debt financing was linked with $18.3 billion and Solar City, AES, BBOXX, and Sunrun are examples of companies with securitization deals. Large-scale project funding accounted for about $11.6 billion and 6.6 GW of solar power capacity. There were 38 public market financing deals and they raised almost $6 billion.
$727 million of the $1 billion raised by venture capital went to solar downstream companies. Over $170 million went to PV technology companies and $87 million went to “Balance of Systems” companies.
One of the more fascinating developments was that over $100 million was for off-grid markets in India, Africa, and South Asia.
Some of the top venture capital deals in 2015 were:
- $300 million, Sunnova Energy
- $105 million, Silicor Materials
- Sunlight Financial, $80 million
- Sungevity, $50 million
- Conergy, $45 million.
The facts produced by the report are intriguing because they show that the solar power industry is doing well, though economic conditions are still challenging overall. Imagine if there had been no global recession in 2008 and for the last 8 years solar power had been able to grow in an unimpeded way.
The Investment Tax Credit was recently renewed in the United States, but if there had been no concern or uncertainty about its renewal, would the solar power industry have experienced no cause for pause?
It seems that solar power will continue to expand because of its own robustness and as the global economy becomes more welcoming to it.