Analysts at Mercom Capital Group have tallied up corporate funding, venture capital and debt and public market investment for battery storage, smart grids and energy efficiency companies. From a financial perspective, the industry appears resilient to the Covid-19 crisis and ready to grow further.
Mercom Capital Group has issued a report tallying up financial activity in the solar sector between January and March 2020. The sobering result is that cash flows are down by considerable margins on all metrics.
Fundraising activity for solar leaped in the July-to-September period to provide healthy quarterly and year-so-far comparisons on 2018.
The head of Mercom Capital says solar has a long way to go before it can stand without policy support. Effective grid parity will only be achieved when the cost of PV electricity factors in the expense of grid upgrades and the storage systems its intermittent nature requires, says Raj Prabhu.
Talk of ‘grid-parity’ and ‘subsidy-free’ solar has had industry figures cherishing the ideal of a sector that can operate free of the caprices of government but a peer behind the latest global PV funding figures demonstrates just how dependent on policy the solar industry remains.
In 2017, battery storage, smart grid and energy efficiency companies saw a YoY increase in venture capital funding, garnering a combined US$1.5 billion, up from the $1.3 billion raised in 2016, finds the latest Mercom Capital report.
Despite a robust first quarter, Mercom CEO Raj Prabhu says the uncertainty surrounding the Suniva trade case caused a dip in the second quarter and could have devastating effects going forward.
The decision by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to halt interstate transmission charges for solar power until at least 2019 key catalyst in SECI’s decision to tender further 750 MW of solar at Bhadla Solar Park.
Government “highly unlikely” to disrupt soaring solar market by acquiescing to demands to introduce anti-dumping tariffs on solar modules and cells from China, Taiwan and Malaysia, says Mercom Capital, but others argue duties are only way to ensure survival of domestic industry.
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