Corporate solar funding drops due to inflation, high interest rates

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There were 207 solar project acquisitions globally between January and September 2022, according to Mercom Capital Group. Image: Sonnedix.

Corporate funding in the global solar sector was dampened by inflation and high interest rates during the first nine months of the year, according to research from Mercom Capital Group.

The consultancy found that total corporate solar funding – including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing – between January and September was US$18.7 billion, 18% lower than the same period last year.

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, said that although corporate funding during the nine months was behind pace year-over-year, impacted by inflation and high interest rates, the consultancy has seen a resurgence in venture capital and private equity funding.

“There is no longer any doubt about the growth potential of the solar industry – it is now a race to acquire the right technology and portfolios to scale,” Prabhu said.

During the nine months, solar venture capital funding increased 150% year-on-year to US$5.5 billion, the research revealed.

According to Mercom, the top venture capital deals were US$750 million raised by US renewables developer Intersect Power, US$500 million secured by Longroad Energy, another US renewables developer, and US$375 million raised by residential solar platform Palmetto,

Other top venture capital deals include the US$360 million raised by Chinese wafer manufacturer Gokin Solar, US$350 by US developer Agilitas Energy and US$260 million by off-grid solar provider Sun King.

In terms of solar public market funding during the nine months, Mercom Capital Group said this fell 22% year-on-year to US$4.9 billion, while debt financing activity in the sector dropped 42% to US$8.3 billion.

Meanwhile, there were 207 solar project acquisitions, up on the 200 between January and September 2021.

Mercom found last year that corporate funding in the global solar sector reached a ten-year high as the industry recovered from a COVID-affected 2020.

In its corporate solar funding report for Q2 2022, the consultancy said there was a pronounced slowdown in activity, with inflation and supply chain issues impacting solar sector fundraising.

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