Project finance - Minimising risk to lenders is vital in ensuring the solar industry continues to have access to adequate sources of finance. Simon Turner and Paola Piazzolla outline the key ingredients for the technical due diligence needed to give peace of mind to investors.
The importance of the investment tax credit in stimulating solar development has become an article of faith in the US, and its extension at the end of 2015 was welcomed as a vital lifeline. But as Danielle Ola hears, complexity, tightening supply and inefficiencies mean tax equity has a growing number of critics.
The aim of the Solar Bankability project is to establish a common practice for professional risk assessment, which will serve to reduce the risks associated with investments in PV projects. In this article the project team discusses a key aspect of this work: the development of a methodology for the assessment of the economic impact of failures occurring during operation but which might have originated in previous phases.
Over the past 12 months, the US solar business has been on a rollercoaster ride, with the high-profile bankruptcy of SunEdison and the merger of SolarCity and Tesla stealing the headlines. Danielle Ola talks to the experts about some of the key trends shaping the world of solar finance and investment in the US.
It was a turbulent year for solar finance in 2015 with big successes, more innovation and a few nasty surprises too. Mercom Capital’s Raj Prabhu takes a forensic look at solar finance in the last 12 months and the clues offered for the year ahead.
Solar’s widely heralded shift to self-consumption models has failed to happen to any meaningful degree. But as it remains PV’s only viable future business model, it’s time to get the project back on track, writes Gaëtan Masson.
As the economics of solar improve, merchant projects are already in place in Chile and various parts of the US. However, as lawyers from Chadbourne explain, financing them is
not a straightforward business.
Securitisation is emerging as a promising new source of finance for the solar industry. Raymond Hudson looks at its potential for future growth and some of the considerations for developers looking to go down the securitisation route.
Emanuele Tacchino outlines the lessons learned from the major solar secondary markets for helping investors utilise due diligence expertise to hedge risk and increase the long-term profitability of their asset acquisitions.
New solar fiance | Innovation in the solar industry is not limited to labs and fabs, with some creative financial engineering increasingly proving its worth. John Parnell looks at how power purchase agreement innovation can bridge the gap between cost-competitive and ‘nearly’ cost-competitive solar.
Warranties | PV module manufacturers, O&M companies, owners, insurance companies and financial stakeholders employ independent engineers (IEs) to conduct plant surveys at critical milestones, such as impending plant warranty expiration (e.g. EPC warranty), or on a periodic basis. The result of the plant survey is a status report that identifies improvement potential and, in the case of specific failures or failure indicators, their corresponding root causes. Mitigating actions are mediated by the IE with all the involved stakeholders. Bill Shisler and Matthias Heinze of TUV Rheinland describe a procedure and a sample case for identifying and investigating the performance and possible safety shortcomings of PV modules, triggered by an impending asset sale.
Future solar finance | Ahead of the Solar Finance & Investment Asia Conference in Singapore, Dr M. Rusydi of SGI Mitabu tells John Parnell how solar could tap into the potentially enormous investment opportunities offered by Islamic finance.
PV waste | Europe is leading the way in efforts to regulate the disposal and recycling of old or discarded PV modules. Sara Ver-Bruggen investigates the extent to which the industry is complying with the rules and whether PV markets in other parts of the world are likely to follow Europe’s lead.
A significant part of the risk management process associated with large-scale solar PV installations is ‘technical due diligence’, which seeks to define and minimise all technical risks associated with the project. Fred Martin and Nick Morley of TÜV Rheinland explore due diligence challenges for PV power plants in Japan.
More than ever, the global PV market provides attractive new investment opportunities, but the elements driving such rapid expansion also increase the risk of solar financial assets failing to meet long-term fiscal and performance goals. Boris Farnung, Björn Müller and Klaus Kiefer of Fraunhofer ISE, and Peter Bostock and John Sedgwick of VDE Americas explore major quality-assurance measures and the challenges today for achieving bankability of utility-scale PV plants.