Total corporate funding into the solar sector globally, including venture capital and private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing, came to $14.5 billion, a 24% increase compared to the $11.7 billion in 2019 says Mercom Capital in its annual report.
“Following a tough first half when corporate funding was down 25% year-over-year, recovery has been swift and broad, with corporate funding up 24% for the year. Publicly-traded solar companies had an unprecedented year. The solar ETF was up 225%, 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 securitization 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.
Global VC funding in the solar sector in 2020 came to $1.2 billion in 41 deals, compared to $1.4 billion in 53 deals in 2019.
Of the $1.2 billion in VC funding raised in 41 deals in 2020, $1.1 billion went to 27 Solar Downstream companies, $61 million for Solar Service Providers, $17 million for PV companies, $15 million for Balance of System (BOS) companies, $15 million for Thin Film Technology companies, and $5.5 million for Concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) companies.
The top VC funded companies in 2020 were Ayana Renewable Power with $390 million, Silicon Ranch Corporation with $225 million, Brighte with $76 million, Sunseap Group with $72 million, and Aurora Solar and Zero Mass Water with $50 million each.
There were 102 VC and PE investors that participated in funding deals in 2020.
Public market financing was up 101% with $5.1 billion in 2020.
In 2020, announced debt financing came to $8.3 billion. Eight securitization deals totaling $2.2 billion were recorded in 2020, the largest amount in a year.
62 Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deals were transacted in the solar sector in 2020 compared to 65 in 2019. Most of the transactions involved Solar Downstream companies.
There were 231 large-scale solar project acquisitions in 2020 compared to 192 transactions in 2019.
The report stated that a record 39.5 GW of large-scale solar projects changed hands in 2020 compared to 26.1 GW in 2019. This was the largest amount of projects acquired in a single year to date.
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