Solar developer ReneSola Power more than doubled its project pipeline in 2021 and expects to maintain growth this year amid rising demand for renewables as European markets look to achieve more energy independence.
With the company’s project development unit’s mid-to-late-stage pipeline reaching 2.2GW at the end of the year – above its target of 2GW – thanks to progress in the US and Europe, it now aims to close 2022 at 3GW, with a significant portion of the increase from Europe as a result of favourable policy support.
“We believe the solar industry will experience unprecedented growth as the crisis in the Ukraine has awakened a worldwide desire and sense of urgency to achieve energy independence,” ReneSola CEO Yumin Liu said during a conference call with investors.
Management said there are already signs of this acceleration, with the European Commission revealing plans earlier this month to simplify renewables permitting and Germany looking to speed up solar and wind deployment as the country aims to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.
“The current European market, as we see, in the seven to eight countries we have activities, all have great demand for solar,” Yumin Liu said, adding that more than 60% of the company’s 3GW pipeline target will be in Europe.
ReneSola’s current mid-to-late-stage pipeline in Europe consists of projects in Poland, Spain, the UK, Germany, France, Hungary and Italy, where it formed a partnership last year with developer Emeren to work on ground-mount plants.
In addition, the company has a 114MW asset development pipeline in China and 728MW under development in the US, of which 76MW are community solar projects in Minnesota, Maine and New York.
While full-year revenue jumped 8% year-on-year to US$79.7 million, it was below the firm’s prior guidance of US$90 – 100 million. The increase was driven by the project development unit, which represented 76.7% of the company’s revenue in 2021, up from 67.1% in 2020.
Adjusted EBITDA for 2021 was up 58% year-on-year to US$25.9 million, while gross margin was 39.4%, compared with 22.7% in 2020.
Last year ReneSola sold a total of 128MW of solar projects, 75MW of which are in Poland. The company announced in January it completed the sale of 37MW of assets in Poland to Danish solar investment and management company Obton.
ReneSola is forecasting revenue growth to accelerate this year and be in the range of US$100 – 120 million, with gross margin expected to be 20 – 25%.
Conference call transcript from Seeking Alpha.