SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group

January 11, 2017 10:00 ET

Total Corporate Funding in Solar Sector Comes in at $9.1 Billion in 2016, Reports Mercom Capital Group

$4.9 Billion Raised by Residential and Commercial Solar Funds, VC Funding Reaches $1.3 Billion

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 11, 2017) - Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy research and communications firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in 2016.

Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital/private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing, raised by public companies came to $9.1 billion, compared to $25.3 billion in 2015.

Image: Solar Corporate Funding 2010-2016

"It was a challenging year for solar companies in terms of fundraising even as demand is expected to reach an all-time high," commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-founder of Mercom Capital Group. "However, 2017 looks better than expected as lower module prices are expected to boost installation levels."

Global VC investments came to $1.25 billion in 77 deals in 2016, compared to $1.1 billion in 83 deals in 2015.

Image: Solar VC Funding 2010-2016

Solar downstream companies accounted for $985 million of the $1.3 billion raised. Investments in PV technology companies reached $97 million. Thin-film companies raised $95 million. Balance of Systems companies raised $37 million. Service providers raised $24 million. In one deal each, CPV raised $10 million and CSP raised $2.3 million.

The largest VC deals included the $300 million raised by Sunnova Energy, the $220 million raised by Solar Mosaic, and Origis Energy and Silicon Ranch each raised $100 million.

One hundred investors participated in funding rounds in 2016, with five involved in multiple rounds: Energy Access Ventures, ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies, IFC, KawiSafi Ventures, and Neo Solar Power.

Image: Solar Top VC Funded Companies in 2016

Public market financing reached $1.8 billion in 27 deals. There were three IPOs which brought in $230 million -- they were BCPG, Azure Power, and Ripasso Energy.

Debt financing totaled $6 billion. There were three securitization deals in 2016 totaling $387 million. SolarCity raised a total of $234.6 million in two securitization deals and Shenzhen Energy had one for $152 million.

Announced large-scale project funding in 2016 came to $9.4 billion in 133 deals, compared to 2015 with $11.6 billion in 124 deals.

Image: Solar Top 5 Announced Large-Scale Project Funding Deals by Dollar Amount in 2016

Residential and commercial solar project funds reached $4.9 billion from 30 funds in 2016 compared to $5.7 billion raised in 24 funds in 2015 led by SolarCity, Sunrun, Solar Mosaic, Spruce Finance, and Tabuchi Electric. Since 2009, these firms have raised more than $22.5 billion. In the last three quarters of 2016, loans made up almost 47 percent of the funds announced.

There were 68 corporate solar M&A transactions in 2016. Solar downstream companies accounted for 38 of these deals. The largest transaction in 2016 was the $2.1 billion acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla Motors.

There were a record 218 large-scale solar project acquisitions for more than 12.2 GW.

Image: Solar Top 5 M&A Transactions in 2016

Mercom tracked 133 large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q4 2016 totaling 5.8 GW and 826 project announcements totaling 40.4 GW for all of 2016.

To learn more about the report, visit:  

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