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New Delhi: Total corporate funding in India’s solar energy sector dropped 76 per cent to USD 462 million (about Rs 3,474 crore) in the first half of 2020, a report said. Corporate funding includes venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing.

As per the report by Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, total worldwide corporate funding in the solar sector during January-June 2020 stood at USD 4.5 billion, down 25 per cent from USD 6 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Corporate funding in India in H1 2020 was USD 462 million, a 76 per cent fall compared to USD 1.9 billion during January-June 2019, it said.

“Financial activity in the first half of the year reflects the realities on the ground. Even though solar stocks have performed well, and corporate funding in Q2 looked slightly better because of several securitization deals, global economies and solar activity are still far from being back to where they should be.

“Project acquisition activity, typically a sign of health in the sector, declined significantly in Q2,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

“In all, it could have been worse considering the severity of the crisis,” he added.

In H1 2020, global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) in the solar sector was 74 per cent lower at USD 210 million compared to USD 799 million raised in the first half of 2019, the report said.

In India, VC funding in the solar sector totalled USD 12 million, a 97.5 per cent drop compared to USD 484 million in the first half of 2019.

The top VC funding deal in India in H1 2020 was the USD 5 million raised by clean energy investor cKers Finance from New Energy Nexus to accelerate the development of new distributed solar segments in the country.

Announced debt financing activity globally in the first half of 2020 (USD 3.6 billion in 15 deals) was 16 per cent lower compared to the first half of 2019 when USD 4.2 billion was raised in 27 deals.

Debt funding in India in the first half totalled USD 450 million, down 67 per cent from USD 1.4 billion raised in H1 2019.

The first half of 2020 saw 25 solar corporate M&A transactions globally, compared to 37 transactions in the corresponding period of the previous year.

There were three such transactions in India, but the financial details were not disclosed, the report said.

Global solar project acquisition activity was up in H1 2020 at 14.7 GW compared to 11.6 GW acquired in the same period last year.

Oil and gas majors were the major acquirers of solar assets and accounted for about 6.5 GW (45 per cent) of acquisitions, followed by investment firms with 6.1 GW (41 per cent).

In India, 1.8 GW of solar projects were acquired compared to 737 MW in H1 2019, the report said.





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