Increasing solar investments and VC funding - energy storage top deal

7/12/17, 11:00 AM -

The solar sector saw growing investments and venture capital (VC) funding in the first half of 2017 globally. Major deals were huge photovoltaic projects in the UAE and energy storage investments in China.

Driving forces for increasing investments in solar and clean energy have in H1 2017 are major PV projects in UAE and funding for energy storage manufacturing in China.
Driving forces for increasing investments in solar and clean energy have in H1 2017 are major PV projects in UAE and funding for energy storage manufacturing in China.

Global VC funding for the solar sector in 1H 2017 was 23 percent higher with $713 million compared to the $579 million raised in 1H 2016, largely due to a strong first quarter in 2017, Mercom Capital Group states. Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2017 came to $4.8 billion raised in 48 deals, Wendy Prabhu from Mercom says. This is representing a 86 percent growth over the $2.6 billion raised in 33 deals in Q1 2017.

Increasing funding - Chinese battery manufacturer as top deal

Public market funding in 1H 2017 was higher compared to the first half of last year with $934 million raised in 19 deals compared to $276 million in nine deals in 1H 2016, Mercom says. The top VC and private equity deals were $400 million for Microvast Power System, a Chinese maker of batteries for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and $113 million for French solar developer EREN Renewable Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) states.

$ 1.9 billion investments for PV plants in UAE

According to BNEF second quarter of 2017 saw $64.8 billion invested in clean energy around the world, up 21% from 1Q this year. The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum III plant in Dubai and the Marubeni Jinko Solar and Adwea Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi, at 800MW and 1.2GW respectively, contributed $1.9 billion to the global investment total in 2Q 2017. Victoria Cuming, head of policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa at BNEF, said: “The U.A.E. deals are the largest in that country to date by far, and show that its auction programs are leading to the commitment of hard cash by banks and equity providers. They also signal that oil-producing countries are warming to renewables as part of moves to diversify their economies.”

Also small scale solar projects increasing

Overall, solar was the star sector in 2Q, notching up investment of $35.6 billion, up 19% year-on-year and 20% quarter-on-quarter, BNEF states. Also small-scale solar projects of less than 1 MW grew. They attracted $10.8 billion, up 8% year-on-year according to BNEF. (HCN)

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