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Global corporate funding in solar sector increases 24% in 2020

Niti Kiran     January 14, 2021

Total corporate funding into the solar sector globally, including venture capital, private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing, stood at $14.5 billion in 2020, a 24 per cent increase compared to the $11.7 billion raised in 2019, says a Mercom Capital report.  

During the year, global venture capital and private equity funding came to $1.2 billion in 41 deals, compared to $1.4 billion in 53 deals in 2019. Of the this, $1.1 billion went to 27 solar downstream companies, which accounted for a 90 per cent share. Solar service providers raised $61 million; PV companies raised $17 million; Balance of system companies brought in $15 million; thin-film technology companies raised $15 million, and concentrator photovoltaics companies raised $5.5 million.

The top VC funded companies in 2020 were 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.

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Public market financing was up 101 per cent, with $5.1 billion in 2020. Announced debt financing came to $8.3 billion, a 6.4 per cent year-on-year-increase. Eight securitisation deals totalling $2.2 billion were recorded in 2020, which was the largest amount of financing through securitisation in a year.

"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. The solar ETF was up 225 per cent, with 15 solar stocks up over 100% in 2020. Public market funding was also 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 even more sought-after as an investment haven, especially in the uncertain COVID economy," said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

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