Global solar industry corporate funding grows 55% year-over-year


Solar energy continues to attract more funding as the world moves along the transition from fossil fuels to renewable and emissions-free energy. This year, through nine months, over $28.9 billion in venture capital, public market, and debt financing was invested in the solar industry worldwide.

Mercom Capital Group reported that this level of funding represents a 55% growth over the first nine months of 2022, which totaled $18.7 billion. The number of deals decreased 5%, according to the report, but the 124 deals inked thus far in 2023 represented a significant leap in capital injection over last year.

“Despite inflationary challenges, financing in the solar industry has remained robust through the first three quarters of 2023 thanks to a strong global push toward decarbonization and substantial incentives created by the Inflation Reduction Act,” remarked Raj Prabhu, chief executive officer, Mercom Capital Group. “M&A activity, on the other hand, has faced adverse effects, especially in the realm of project acquisitions, due to increased due diligence, higher costs, delays, and a tight labor market.”

Image: Mercom Capital Group

Through nine months of 2023, venture capital (VC) funding activity rose 4% year-over-year, with $5.7 billion across 51 deals, said the Mercom report. Solar downstream companies led activity in this area, closing 28 deals worth $2.8 billion over the period.

The largest VC deals included $471 million raised by 1KOMMA5°, $428 million raised by Enfinity Global, $375 million raised by Silicon Ranch, $360 million raised by CleanMax, and $350 million raised by Juniper Green Energy.

Public market financing over the report period reached $7.2 billion across 19 deals, a 47% leap year-over-year.

Debt financing had the most robust growth, totaling $16 billion over 54 deals, an impressive 93% growth over 2022 first-nine-month totals.

Securitization deals totaled $3.2 billion over the first nine months of 2023, increasing 39% year-over-year.

Over the report period 75 solar merger and acquisition transactions occurred, representing a pullback from the 90 deals struck over that period in 2022. The largest transaction was Brookfield Renewable’s acquisition of Duke Energy’s unregulated utility-scale renewables business, which was valued at $2.8 billion.

Over 31.6 GW of projects were acquired through the first three quarters this year, a significant increase over the 52.1 GW acquired through three quarters in 2022.

Image: Mercom Capital Partners

“Project Developers and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were the most active acquirers of solar projects in Q3 2023, picking up 2 GW, followed by insurance companies, pension funds, energy trading companies, industrial conglomerates, and IT firms with a total of 1.6 GW. Investment firms acquired 959 MW; electric utilities acquired 877 MW; and oil and gas companies acquired 759 MW of projects,” said the Mercom Capital report.

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