Global solar activity ‘far from being back where it should be’ – Mercom

Mercom’s latest report revealed that about 3GW of solar projects were acquired in Q2 2020. Image: Duke Solar.

Global corporate funding for solar projects in the first half of 2020 was US$4.5 billion, a 25% drop year-over-year, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group.

Figures from the consultancy show activity shrank “significantly” in Q2 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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In H1 2020, global VC funding – comprising venture capital, private equity and corporate venture capital funding – in the solar sector was down 74% on the same period last year, tumbling to US$210 million.

Announced debt financing activity in the first half of 2020 (US$3.6 billion in 15 deals) was 16% lower compared to H1 2019. There were four solar securitisation deals totalling US$1.06 billion in 1H 2020.

Mercom Capital Group CEO Raj Prabhu said even though solar stocks have performed well, and corporate funding in Q2 was slightly better because of several securitisation deals, global economies and solar activity “are still far from being back to where they should be”.

He added: “Project acquisition activity, typically a sign of health in the sector, declined significantly in Q2. In all, it could have been worse considering the severity of the crisis.”

While solar project acquisition activity was up in 1H 2020 to 14.7GW compared to 11.6GW in the same period last year, only about 3GW of solar projects were acquired in Q2 2020 compared to 5.7GW in Q2 2019.

According to Mercom, oil and gas companies were the major acquirers of solar assets in 1H 2020 and accounted for about 6.5GW (45%) of acquisitions, followed by investment firms with 6.1GW (41%).

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