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This could be the final straw. McDonald’s will bring forward plans to replace plastic straws with paper alternatives in all of its UK and Irish restaurants.

The fast food chain made the announcement today, stating online “You asked. We listened”. From September, all 1,361 restaurants will be provided with paper straws, saving millions of tons of plastic.

The move forms part of its wider sustainability plans set out earlier this year to make 100 percent its global packaging come from renewable, recycled or certified sustainable sources by 2025.

McDonald’s has been undertaking tests in the UK to find long-term alternatives to plastic straws. Similar testing has started in Belgium and will soon start in the US, France, Sweden, Norway and Australia. In some markets, such as Malaysia, straws will soon be offered only upon request.

“McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good and working to find sustainable solutions for plastic straws globally,” said Francesca DeBiase Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Sustainability. “In addition to the exciting news from the UK today, we are testing straw alternatives in other countries to provide the best experience for our customers. We hope this work will support industry wide change and bring sustainable solutions to scale.”

Straws are just one part of the huge levels of packaging which McDonald’s is aiming to transform across its entire global supply chain. 50 percent of its packaging currently comes from sustainable sources, and the company has pledged to with local governments and industry to improve this figure.

McDonald’s has a separate goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent by 2030. This will prevent an estimated 150 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

                                            McDonald’s broke the news on Twitter

Photo Credit: Nathan O'Nions/Flickr

One of the Europe’s largest asset managers is taking strong action against global companies which aren’t doing enough to address climate change.

London-based Legal & General, which has close to £1 trillion worth of assets under management, has released its latest assessment of how 84 global corporations are responding to the risks posed by climate change.

These companies have been identified as playing a vital role in achieving the Paris climate agreement to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.  

Legal & General has scored their performance across 50 indicators in key areas such transparency on carbon emissions, board governance, business strategy, the position on public policy, and whether they have a corporate statement on the impact of climate change.

Its investment arm has been undertaking the analysis since 2016 as part of its pledge to accelerate action on climate change. This year it held meetings with over half of the companies it assessed and removed the worst performers from one of its funds.

As a result of its work, L&G has now excluded major corporations, such as the China Construction Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in China, and Rosneft Oil, Russia’s second-largest state company.

The China Construction Bank was penalised as a major funder of coal plants and for not disclosing the level of greenhouse gas emissions associated with its business.

Other companies now excluded from the Future World fund include: Japan Post Holdings, Occidental Petroleum, Dominion Energy, Subaru, Loblaw, Sysco Corporation.

L&G will also vote against re-electing the chair of these companies across its other equity funds.

“Climate change is a significant issue for society and investors,” said Meryam Omi, head of sustainability and responsible investment.

“Our role is to ensure companies in different industries transition successfully, and are committed to helping them do that with our Climate Impact Pledge,” she added.

On the flip side, leaders in taking climate action were revealed. French oil & gas company Total was praised for putting a 2 degree scenario at the heart of its future business strategy. Spanish utility Iberdola has also lobbied for stronger emissions targets and for the EU to raise its carbon price.

Samsung has become the latest international company to take the significant step towards obtaining 100 percent of its energy from clean sources.

The South Korean conglomerate made the announcement this week, and will first make the change at its operations in the United States, Europe, and China within the next two years.

Switching to 100 percent renewable energy across its office buildings, factories and other facilities should a major impact on the environment. Its electronics arm is one the world’s largest tech companies with a presence in 73 countries. In the long-term it will seek to switch to renewable energy at every global site, but has targeted the major markets where the transformation can happen quickest.

“Samsung Electronics is fulfilling its duty as a corporate citizen by expanding and supporting the use of renewable energy. As demonstrated by our expanded commitment, we are focused on protecting our planet and are doing our part as a global environmental steward.” said Won Kyong Kim, executive vice president.

Its global headquarters will take the first step by installing 42,000m2 of solar panels at Samsung Digital City in Suwon. Further investments in solar arrays and geothermal power will be made across two of its major facilities in South Korea from 2019. 

“We welcome Samsung Electronics’ declaration to expand the roll-out of renewable energy across its global sites,” said Jochem Verberne, at WWF. “This is an important step and we look forward to working with Samsung on further measures to reduce the company’s climate impact across its value chains.”

The company will also extend its clean energy efforts across its extensive supply chain. From next year, its top 100 partner companies will have to set their own renewable energy targets, and Samsung will work with the Carbon Disclosure Project to making it a reality.

Renault Group has announced a major investment in the production of electric vehicles in France.

The global manufacturer will commit 1 billion euros to four factories in northern France in a bid to solidify its leadership in the growing electric car market.

The fresh injection of cash will help support a doubling of capacity for its Zoe model; enable further growth for its Kangoo electric van, and create a new site to produce electric vehicles for its alliance with Nissan. It will also triple production of its electric motor with the introduction of a more advanced machine from 2021.

The investment is part of Renault’s four-year plan to increase its turnover to 70 billion euros and create 20 models of car which are either fully electric or have electric parts.

The French company’s famed alliance with Nissan has helped the two become global leaders in electric vehicles. In 2017, Renault saw a 37 percent growth in EV sales in Europe, and an overall market share of 23.8 percent. Its successful Zoe model increased its sales by a huge 44 percent, highlighting the task other manufacturers, such as Tesla, have in breaking the European market.

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, said: "The acceleration of our investments in France for electric vehicles will increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of our French industrial sites. Within the framework of its Drive the Future strategic plan and with the Alliance, Groupe Renault is giving itself the means to maintain its leadership in the electric vehicle market and to continue to develop new sustainable mobility solutions for all".

Earlier this year, Renault-Nissan also announced plans to invest in the next generation of battery technologies, called solid-state. These batteries are smaller, cheaper and can purportedly run at a higher capacity than the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The alliance is targeting 2025 to bring the technology to market.

Credit: M 93 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 (DE)

A group of 37 major European banks are joining forces to launch a new energy efficiency scheme.

The trial aims to improve the energy performance of households and buildings by incentivising buyers with special rates on their mortgage.

Banks signed up to the scheme over the next 2 years include BNP Paribas, ING Bank, Nordea Bank and Société Générale.

The scheme, led by the World Green Banking Council, and funded by the European Union, hopes to establish a major new growth area within the financial and property sectors.

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is seen as a key way of reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. The EU’s directive seeks to increase the efficiency of buildings within the bloc to 20 percent by 2020, rising to 30 percent by 2030.

Investors have already started to pay attention to the benefits of issuing favourable mortgage rates for energy efficient buildings; a €500 million green mortgage bond was issued by Barclays bank last year. These properties are seen as being more valuable and can help borrowers’ better service their loans.

Terri Wills, CEO at WorldGBC, said the scheme had been developed with the help of a network of industry experts to ensure consistency: “The commitment by Europe’s leading banks to this pilot shows green building is hitting the mainstream…We look forward to developing the standards over time to support the investor community in addressing climate risks.”

The criteria for issuing the green mortgage comes under two thresholds. New buildings will have to meet national standards for zero-energy buildings, or separately show that they are 20 percent more efficient than national standards. Renovated buildings will only be issued the mortgage if a 30 percent reduction in energy demand can be achieved.

Stephanie Sfakianos, BNP Paribas’ head of sustainable capital markets, said the initiative is a “key building block in tackling the carbon emission challenge, while supporting consumers to live more comfortable and healthy lives.”

Other banks in the scheme include ABN AMRO, Triodos Bank, and Caisse des Dépôts Group.

The EU has approved a new goal to increase its ambitions on renewable energy over the next decade.

Negotiators for the European Commission, Parliament and Council have secured a “political agreement” to raise the existing target from 27 percent to 32 percent. The provisional deal also includes a clause to revise the target by 2023 if necessary.

While the 5 percent uplift was greeted as a “hard-won victory” by the Commission, it was lower than some states were hoping for. Spain and Italy were reportedly pushing for a 35 percent target as was the European Parliament; environmentalists called the new goal inadequate.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s energy and climate commissioner said: "This new ambition will help us meet our Paris Agreement goals and will translate into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and less energy imports.”

“The binding nature of the target will also provide additional certainty to the investors,” he added.

Friends of the Earth Europe, however, criticised the agreement, saying that the EU’s decision makers had only agreed to a “paltry” target that is “inadequate for a climate-safe fossil-free future, and shows a failure to grasp a shifting energy landscape, including rapidly falling renewables costs.”

A stronger deal of at least 34 percent had also won support from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Earlier this year, the organisation released findings that showed the EU could double its renewable energy usage with significant economic and health benefits.

An interim target to source 20 percent of its energy consumption from renewables is set for 2020. The latest figures for 2016 show the bloc is on course to achieve this with a combined total of 17 percent. However, achievements vary widely across member states, with some countries, such as Sweden, reaching over 50 percent renewables already.

A new report from Green Alliance has found the untapped opportunities for the UK to source most of its plastic demand from recycling.

The policy document is a call to create a stronger recycling market in the UK rather than the government’s current policy of simply increasing collection rates. This leads to very high exports, running at two thirds of all plastic, while the country only recycles 9 percent of the material domestically.

Creating the right policies and a secondary market to increase recycling within the UK could be a major boon to the economy. The report estimates that 71 percent of the demand for plastic packaging could be provided by recycled material.

The report recommends three new policies to address the issue of plastic exports. These include ensuring all plastic products and packaging have a mandatory level of recycled content; short-term subsidises to stimulate the market; and a fund to reduce risk among investors.

The government also needs to create a long-term strategy which will provide the level of certainty and reliability which will bring major manufacturers into the game. Establishing such circular economy principles can also have a major impact on the economy, creating thousands of jobs and billions in economic value.

Libby Peake, senior policy adviser on resources at Green Alliance, said: “If the UK wants to lead the world in addressing the global scourge of plastic pollution that means creating a circular economy at home that allows us to turn discarded plastics back into new products. Just collecting plastic and shipping it abroad doesn’t solve the problem.”

The issue of exporting plastic to be dealt with elsewhere has become acute since China banned foreign imports earlier this year on various different waste products. So far, this has led nations, such as the UK, to look to other markets, such as south-east Asia, to deal with their plastic waste, or to simply increase incineration rates.

Peter Maddox, director of sustainability charity WRAP said: “The time has come for the UK to take more responsibility for its own waste.”

“The UK government has shown ambition in its 25 year environment plan and has a great opportunity through the forthcoming resources and waste strategy to ensure that the policy framework enables a thriving and commercially successful UK recycling sector to capture the value from waste here at home,” he added.

Photo Credit: Peter Facey/CC

A major international study has found a tripling of ice loss in Antarctica over the past five years.

The rate of ice melting into the oceans is increasing at an alarming rate, according to a group of 84 scientists taken from 44 international organisations.

The scientists found that before 2012 ice was being lost at a steady rate of 76 billion tonnes, which contributed 0.2 mm to the rise in sea levels.

Since 2012, this has grown to 0.6mm representing an annual loss of 219 billion tonnes.

The international team, led by NASA, the University of Leeds and the European Space Agency, combined 24 satellite surveys between 1992 and 2017. They looked at the change in volume, flow and gravitational attraction across the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet. This huge 5.4 million square mile continent is roughly twice the size of Australia, and holds enough water to lift global sea levels by 58 metres.

Professor Andrew Shepherd at Leeds University said: “According to our analysis, there has been a step increase in ice losses from Antarctica during the past decade, and the continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years. This has to be a concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities.”

“We have long suspected that changes in Earth’s climate will affect the polar ice sheets. Thanks to the satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence,” he added.

The new satellite measurements are now able to document glacier changes at higher levels of precision than ever before. This has allowed the scientists to provide one of the most complete pictures of how the continent is changing and contributing to the worldwide rises in sea level.

Dr Erik Ivins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who co-led the study, commented: “The added duration of the observing period, the larger pool of participants, various refinements in our observing capability and an improved ability to assess both inherent and interpretive uncertainties, each contribute to making this the most robust study of ice mass balance of Antarctica to date.”

India’s Power Minister has told reporters that he expects the country to hit its 175 gigawatt renewable energy target “well before 2022”.

Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi this week, R. K Singh said the rate of progress on energy over the past four years had been “path-breaking”.

“In the 48 years before 2014, the pace of capacity addition in generation was about 4,800 megawatts (MW) a year. In the 48 months of this government, the pace of capacity addition was 24,000 MW a year.”

Mr Singh also spoke of a new target to ensure all of India’s estimated 249 million households had access to electricity by the end of 2018.

India has pushed through various measures to promote renewable energy across the country’s 29 states. Its current capacity sits at 69,000 MW, excluding large-scale hydropower. With a high-level of pledged investment and 40,000 MW of projects out to tender, some officials think the real figure could be as high as 227 gigawatts by 2022.

Coal India, the state-controlled mining company, admitted earlier this year that it was “only a matter of time” until renewable technologies replaced coal.

Solar power has grown by an estimated 200 percent in the past two years alone and the government recently approved a 5,000 megawatt solar farm in Gujarat, set to become one of the largest in the world. India also has one of the highest levels of wind power in the world, surpassed only by Germany, US and China.

However, some commentators have warned that this astonishing rate growth may not be keeping pace with demand.

“With falling solar and wind tariffs, India stands high chances of making it to the third position among renewable energy countries. But there are concerns of excess capacity, energy demand and implementation of the plan,” Amit Kumar, at PwC India, told The Economic Times. 

Photo Credit: Vinaykumar8687/CC

An official Government report will show that Germany has missed its 2020 target to cut carbon emissions.

The revelation, reported in the German magazine Der Spiegel, will put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to address the country’s faltering low-carbon economy.

According to the magazine, the 2017 Climate Protection Report shows that Germany is on course to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2020, falling short of its intended target of 40 percent, compared to 1990 levels.

The underlying causes for the 8 percent gap purportedly came from “unexpected” economic and population growth.

Germany has invested huge sums in its transition to cleaner technologies, which has seen the amount of renewable generation reach 30 percent. However, its continued reliance on coal-power, especially the most carbon intensive lignite plants, has undermined this strong progress. Any economic growth is, therefore, matched by a dependency on fossil fuels.

Over 1 million migrants were also accepted into the country at the height of the Syrian civil war between 2015 and 2016.

The pressure on Mrs Merkel, who has spoken repeatedly on the need to fight climate change, will inevitably increase under her new coalition government. The missed target has been widely expected and was abruptly scrapped earlier this year.

Michael Schäfer, at WWF’s German branch said the report was a “120-decibel alarm” and showed the distance between words and actions by the federal government.

"What else has to happen so that the German government finally takes its own goals to combat global warming seriously?”, "…The 2020 and 2030 climate targets are still achievable, but only with the right measures. The transport sector, the building sector, agriculture and industry must finally recognise that,” he added.

The government, however, remains committed to reaching its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 55 percent.

Photo Credit: Ekem/CC

Planting trees is a simple way to offset some of the carbon emissions we pump into the atmosphere.

But alone it is not enough to prevent the runaway impacts of climate change.

New research claims to have made a major step forward in the economic viability of directly removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, using a new type of technology.

A Canadian company, called Carbon Engineering, has published peer-reviewed findings, which show the process can now be done for less than $100 per ton. This is a major improvement on current estimates of $600 per ton.

There are various types of carbon capture and storage technology, designed to suck the climate-polluting gas out of the air, or at the source. It is seen by some scientists as an ideal way of stopping climate change, but it has proved difficult to commercialise, and its large-scale feasibility is disputed.

Carbon Engineering’s innovation is to create a way of turning the carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel, using extractor fans and a cooling tower.

The new findings are based on three years of research at a site in British Columbia, led by Harvard Professor David Keith.

“We’ve been working on direct air capture since 2009, running our pilot plant since 2015, and we now have the data and engineering to prove that direct-air capture can achieve costs below $100USD per ton,” he said.

The company believes its “proven” technology can help benefit the climate in two ways: both by removing carbon dioxide and by providing a clean fuel for the transport sector.

It is reportedly producing one barrel a day of the fuel, but with a long-term ambition to scale-up production to 2,000 barrels.

Steve Oldham, CEO of Carbon Engineering, said: “Our clean fuel is fully compatible with existing engines, so it provides the transportation sector with a solution for significantly reducing emissions, either through blending or direct use. Our technology is scalable, flexible and demonstrated.”

The full research paper was published in Joule and can be read here.

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Source: Globe and Mail

One of the world’s largest offshore wind farms is officially being opened today off the east coast of England.

The Race Bank wind farm, developed by Danish energy company Ørsted, has a maximum capacity of 573 megawatts, enough to power around 500,000 homes in the UK.

The major clean energy project is located 17 miles off the Norfolk coast, with 91 huge turbines covering an area equivalent to over 10,000 football pitches.

The official opening of the wind farm means it is now the fifth largest in the world, although various others under construction in UK waters will soon surpass it.

Ørsted UK’s Managing Director, Matthew Wright, said: “Powering over half a million homes every year, Race Bank is another positive step towards delivering the UK’s decarbonised energy system of the future.”

Ørsted was an early investor in offshore wind and has a strong presence in the European market. It has a stake in 10 projects around the UK coastline, often in post-industrial areas which have benefitted from the inward investment and job creation.

A new £300m offshore wind factory was opened in Hull 18 months ago by Siemens, which employs 1,000 people in the local area. Race Bank is the first wind farm to use blades made at the site.

“Race Bank is a fantastic infrastructure project and underlines Ørsted’s contribution to the UK’s energy transition. It’s also another clear signal of our firm commitment to Grimsby and the Humber, and the UK supply chain for offshore wind,” Wright added.

In addition to Race Bank, Ørsted is also building out the much larger Hornsea One and Two wind farms in nearby Yorkshire, which will have a combined capacity of 3,000 megawatts. Once complete, either wind farm will become the largest in the world.

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Photo Credit: Ørsted

A report published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis describes how solar energy is accelerating the transformation of the global electricity-generation sector through gains in technology innovation and price deflation.

The study—“Solar Is Driving a Global Shift in Energy Markets”—details some of the world’s biggest utility-scale and concentrated-solar-power projects. It documents prime examples of large rooftop-solar expansions, floating-solar developments, and solar-with-battery-storage projects. It includes an overview of corporate renewable power purchase deals and a rundown of utilities that have taken a critical lead on the renewable energy front.

The Indian Government has given planning permission to a huge new solar project which is set to become one of the largest in the world.The Indian Government has given planning permission to a huge new solar project which is set to become one of the largest in the world.

The approval for a 5,000 megawatt solar farm in the state of Gujarat was announced earlier this month by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

To participate in Chinese energy market, OEMs and project developers should accelerate development of market-specific solutions and educate Chinese stakeholders on DER

A new report from examines the changes in the Chinese commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity market, and the opportunities they create for distributed energy resources (DER) stakeholders.

As markets for wholesale energy and retail grow in China, the Chinese government is finding new ways to deploy renewable energy with an emphasis on distributed power generation. From the start of the industry, China has struggled to integrate its increasing renewables with central grid infrastructure. To resolve this issue, the National Energy Administration and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a market-oriented distributed power generation initiative in fall of 2017. : According to a new report by @NavigantRSRCH, China is open to electricity market competition and pushing for DER.

“The focus on DER by China’s NDRC represents a new part of the power sector reform in China,” says Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “This strategy has the potential to change the Chinese energy industry and eventually fulfill demands of the C&I and retail choice markets at the customer level.”

According to the report, the Chinese government is pushing legislation and incentives to encourage competition in the realm of distributed resources. In response to that opening of competition, innovative business models are emerging to take advantage of these new opportunities in the Chinese C&I marketplace. To participate and enhance competitiveness, Navigant recommends OEMs and project developers develop market-specific solutions, strengthen their customer acquisition teams, and educate Chinese stakeholders on DER.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

This Navigant Research report, , explores the changes in the Chinese C&I electricity market and the opportunities they create for DER stakeholders. The study addresses the challenges that are emerging as companies and project developers aim to capitalize on these DER opportunities. It also looks at DER strategies that have been successful in other markets that could be adapted to conditions in China and assist project developers in creating successful and innovative DER business models.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Preparing for New DER-Driven Opportunities in the Chinese C&I Energy Market, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

Governments should invest in advanced battery research and look beyond Li-ion market

A new report examines the future roadmap for battery technologies and provides market analysis and recommendations provided by governments, manufacturers, and business owners.

As the global market for energy storage devices grows, research surrounding advanced battery technology is emerging quickly and will have a significant impact on the industry. However, new business models and emerging applications call for improved battery design and power duration considerations. Improved electrochemical batteries are entering the market quicker than ever because of lower costs, better performance, and improved safety. : According to a @NavigantRSRCH report, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries remain vulnerable to more robust technologies for specialized applications such as artificial intelligence, advanced electric vehicles, and materials handling equipment.

“Though Li-ion batteries have been the leading advanced battery chemistry for new projects in the past several years, other chemistries may encroach on its market share as new technological developments come to market,” says Ian McClenny, research analyst with Navigant. “The emergence of specialized batteries is dispelling the notion that one energy storage technology fits all applications.”

According to Navigant, analysis of roadmaps for battery technologies suggest flow, advanced lead-acid, and sodium-based battery technologies will be optimized for specialized applications requiring more energy, power, faster charging, and safety. The report recommends governments around the world take progressive steps to invest in advanced battery research by seeking out research laboratories to commercialize these technologies for emerging markets.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

This Navigant Research report, , explores the incremental improvements that scientists and engineers are making in advanced battery technologies that can serve diverse use cases, including transportation and grid storage. The study analyzes the traditional specifications, reported shortcomings, and future roadmaps of Li-ion, flow, advanced lead-acid, and sodium-based battery technologies. Navigant Research outlines the innovations happening on the individual cell and system levels and how these will shape the advanced battery industry. Emerging markets for these batteries are detailed and key recommendations are provided for governments, manufacturers, and business owners.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Advances in Battery Chemistries Drive Greater Specialization across Energy Storage Applications, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

To enhance competitiveness and customer acceptance, mobility service providers should focus on designing multiple blockchain-based platforms and prioritize scalability

A new report from examines how blockchain technology can be adopted by mobility as a service (MaaS) providers to create new business models to help connect decentralized energy systems.

As blockchain technology begins to transform value exchange in a wide range of industries, the energy sector is exploring how to adapt it to create new and advantageous business models. : According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, MaaS providers stand to benefit from adopting blockchain technology.

“Blockchain-based platforms create interoperability between services like -electric vehicle charging or ridesharing. The technology opens up microtransaction markets in an affordable way to service providers, allowing MaaS services to be automated,” says Johnathon de Villier, Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “Additionally, they incentivize stakeholders to provide mobility services to the end consumers. Collaboration at the platform level will be essential for success in this rapidly evolving industry.”

To take advantage of the benefits of blockchain technology–which includes the ability to digitize value, reduce transaction costs, overcome hurdles of electric transportation, and automation of secure electronic transactions—Navigant’s report recommends MaaS providers develop platforms that integrate with blockchain-based applications for multiple functions. In addition, it recommends prioritizing scalability over decentralization, and solving issues regarding private key management for device-to-device transactions.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

The report, , explores how the benefits of blockchain could help MaaS stakeholders address the challenges raised by digitization, automation, and electrification in the mobility industry. The study also examines the wide range of potential applications for blockchain in the MaaS industry, as well as how blockchain-based mobility services will challenge existing industry players. It concludes with a series of recommendations for approaching and experimenting with blockchain technology to create new business and operational models for a distributed and decentralized transportation system. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the .

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Blockchain Opens a New Frontier for Mobility Services, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

First Transactive Energy Markets will Appear within the Next 5-10 Years

A new report from analyzes the pace of global adoption of transactive energy (TE) markets.

While fully-fledged TE markets will take many years to mature, there are significant drivers that create a positive environment. TE markets can help manage volatility caused by high concentrations of distributed energy resources (DER) in parts of the distribution network. Regulators are increasingly receptive to permitting residential customers to participate in new energy markets, where a market-based financial return could replace existing subsidy programs.

According to the report, ubiquitous TE markets are still many years away, as they continue to battle vested interests, legacy technology infrastructure, regulations, and taxation issues.

“Australia and Germany will likely be the first markets to move away from trials into large-scale deployment, but others—including France, the UK and Japan—will soon follow,” says Stuart Ravens, Principal Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “In the US, where the vertically integrated business model is an additional barrier, adoption will be driven by individual states. California and New York are two leading contenders, because of their DER-friendly energy policies.”

Current TE trials around the world can help identify future profits. This is not a simple task. : According to a new report from , the first TE markets will appear within the next 5-10 years, despite more bullish statements from the market.

This report, , complements Navigant Research’s previous research on the opportunities TE. The study analyzes the market issues, including demand drivers and barriers, associated with the development of TE markets and business models. Global market forecasts, broken out by segment, technology, and region, extend through 2026. The report also examines the value streams related to TE and provides recommendations for DER owners, network utilities and suppliers, TE vendors, and other stakeholders exploring the emerging TE markets.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Transactive Energy Markets is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

Renewable energy sources are of prime importance as they would power our future.

To enhance competitiveness and meet customer expectations of new technologies, utilities and retail suppliers should invest in customer-centric DSM products

A new report from  examines the global market for customer engagement through DSM (CEDSM), providing market forecasts for spending segmented by region, through 2027.

As customer expectations grow for new technologies, so does the market for CEDSM products, making it easier for utilities and retail suppliers to engage with them. However, uncertainty in the long-term cost-effectiveness of these solutions remains a barrier to global adoption, in addition to region-specific competitiveness of a deregulated energy supply market. : According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, global spending on CEDSM is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2027.

“Because of the changes in consumer expectations, utilities and retail suppliers are seeking DSM software solutions that can lower the cost-to-serve and improve customer satisfaction and engagement,” says Brett Feldman, principal research analyst with Navigant Research.

According to Navigant, to enhance CEDSM competitiveness and customer acceptance, utilities and service providers should focus on combining budgets and revenue streams to cover costs, transition to newer business models while complementing existing DSM programs rather than replacing them, and offering accurate building energy use models to build customer trust.

This report, , examines the global CEDSM market, with a focus on market drivers and barriers, case studies, and forecasts for residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) CEDSM spending. The study examines the trends related to CEDSM to highlight regional activities and approaches to behavioral DSM and utility marketplaces. Global market forecasts for spending, broken out by segment and region, extend through 2027. The report also profiles key CEDSM solutions providers and provides recommendations for utilities, retail suppliers, and vendors that aim to enhance CEDSM effectiveness.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Utility Customer Engagement through DSM, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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Mr Vikash Vohra

Director - Sales & Marketing

SAPA



Challenges faced by company while managing supply chain?

The Challenges are manifold, primarily it is difficult to get accurate forecasts from customers as the lead times are very aggressive due to a lot of uncertainty in the solar industry.

In a typical installation for a solar power plant, aluminium structures require a lot of components and subcomponents which can differ depending on the system being installed on the layout. For example, our Short Rail System comprises of four sub-components, whereas the Additional Tilt System comprises of 7 sub-components. Then add the fact that you require a combination of two or more systems to be applied to the same site. This may seem easy to manage if you are servicing only a handful of projects, however in Sapa, we pride ourselves on servicing multiple projects, large and small, each one with a strict deadline and requiring customized solutions.

Being part of the World’s Largest Aluminium Solutions Company, we have a robust production system to ensure quick turnaround for large volumes. We have inherently reduced the lead time by ensuring ready materials are always in stock for downstream processes of coating and fabrication, all are under a single roof. In addition to the above, we keep ample stocks of subcomponents and accessories, which are imported from Mounting Systems GmBH, Germany.

The standardization of the clamps & subcomponents is another engineering advantage we have for all our products and services all the modules available in the market.

Implementing TQM to maintain quality of the product?

As the Industry Leader, we recognize the importance of compliance and quality in delivering high-value products to customers. All of our manufacturing sites maintain certification standards set by our Hydro Quality System. Being the World’s Largest Aluminium Solutions Company, a lot of our customers are looking for the same quality of products as is received by their counterparts in other countries. Focusing on such specific needs from our customers, we follow the same global quality policies and adopt similar quality maintenance techniques while manufacturing as our other plants in Europe & North America. Total Quality Management (TQM) is an integral part of every process and best quality practices like 5S, Genesis and six sigma are thoroughly followed to achieve customer satisfaction.

How can companies ensure better quality management while manufacturing?

In manufacturing, quality is a process that ensures customers receive products free from defects and meet their needs. Quality must be built in the fundamental of any organization. While manufacturing the challenges are to have control of the processes, this could be achieved by constantly monitoring the process using statistical process control and measurement system analysis. Failure mode effective analysis and control plans help to keep process in the control proactively. Continuous training and motivating employees in the organization for improving the quality builds quality from grassroot. Every day, daily management L1 meeting monitoring quality helps to ensure that all process is in control. Implementation of ISO 9001 Quality System, conducting internal audits and regular management review meeting provides top management focus directly on quality. Total productive maintenance helps the machines and equipments to perform more reliable. Advanced quality planning and production part approval process helps to develop products without defects.

Quality is the standard of the organization.

 

Mr. Bhavesh Modi,

Director,

Sanelite

  • What are the challenges faced by the company in managing the supply chain?
    As most of the people in the industry are aware, this business is capital intensive. You need a huge working capital even if running a comparative smaller industry. Hence the turnaround time which is the time you invest for a product or a project and the time you realize the money must be as short as possible. While there is little issue with the PV modules supply chain, it becomes bigger with the EPC, as there are lot of dependencies on the external factors. There are government agencies involved, Discoms involved, and a whole lot of different suppliers from different sectors. Aggravating the pain are the incentives and subsidies offered by the government for which there is no timeline and no commitment. All in all, it’s all about the turn-around time, the shorter it is, the better you can manage your supply chain.
  •  How you are implementing TQM in order to improve the quality of your products?
    Quality is an integral part of life for all of us at Sanelite. Sanelite Group itself while spread in many verticals stands on the sole pillar of quality. India being a lucrative market, very few people understand the importance of the quality and the value it provides the customer. Very few people understand that the solar projects come with a lifelong promise. And when you commit to the lifetime promise, you cannot afford to deteriorate quality of products. At Sanelite Solar, we take utmost care to provide our customers with the best quality products. We deploy thorough QC procedures and stringent quality checks to maintain TQM. At every stage of the lifecycle, right from raw materials till packaging of the product, right from gathering requirements through commissioning, quality is the principal lived. An important thing to note here that the earlier a defect is identified, the least costly its solution is.
  • How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?
    Quality is a virtue by itself, and it needs to be lived. For instance, every personnel at our manufacturing facility – labour, engineer, technician, manager, everyone – follows a quality manual. Whatever work they do has a defined set of quality checks to be done, and they are evaluated regularly. The key is that every person being involved in the lifecycle of the product should know his contribution towards the product they are creating, and know the quality standards the product is set to achieve – be it checking raw materials, processing them, operating machines, product testing or packaging.

Mr. Manik Garg,

Director,

Saatvik Green Energy



What are the challenges faced by the company in managing the supply chain?

   Managing the supply chain of any company requires constant coordination between various departments within the organisation as well as all the people involved in a transaction. Since the promoters have an experience in the manufacturing sector of over 30 years, we directly implement their learnings with some customisation to the industry. Given that there are so many raw materials to be procured to assemble solar panels, it becomes very important to restrict the number of vendors, which not only helps maintain the timeline of raw material procurement, but also improves quality. When the product is ready, one of the major challenge that prevails across the industry is to serve the customers located in the other part of the country, due to high transpiration costs. We are overcoming this challenge by building a network of warehouses across states, to help assist regular demand.

How you are implementing TQM in order to improve the quality of your products?

     People. Process. Precision. We work on these three principals to ensure TQM in our organisation. People are the most important resource in any organisation, and we go an extra mile to make sure that our people are performing to their maximum abilities at all times. We conduct regular training and personal guidance sessions for all our staff, to ensure that they are satisfied both at work, and outside work. If processes are well defined and easy to understand, it leaves no room for error. Not only do we comply with ISO, but we have also implemented SAP H4 HANA which helps in automating a lot of manual processes, for superior records and quality implementation. If your people and processes are sorted, precision comes naturally, and we are a very quality conscious company, hence precision plays a very important role. To assist our people and processes, we have all necessary quality control/inspection equipment both in-line and in the laboratory, to ensure precision in our production for highest quality products.

How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?

    While the basis to have quality management is to install quality inspection tools and equipment in the manufacturing process. Starting from incoming quality control to finished product quality check, various machines can be installed. More important is to train to the people working on these machines, to help achieve the purpose of these machines. Adequate off the job and on the job training to all employees is a prerequisite for better quality. Most important is to set the internal standards as to what is acceptable or not. If the criteria of rejection is kept very basic, the production process will definitely churn out some defective products. Hence, it is a comprehensive process, and depends on the vision of the management. Our values of sustainability and integrity dictate that we follow a strict quality policy, for long term relations with our esteemed customers.

Software and energy monitoring solutions have emerged to derive insights from consumer energy data

A new Leaderboard Report from  examines the strategy and execution of 14 home energy management (HEM) software companies, with Oracle and Tendril ranked as the leading companies.

Rapid growth in smart home technology has bolstered the digitization of homes and the market for the smart devices within them. With this trend, a competitive list of energy management software platform providers looking to dominate the HEM space to gather insights from the data these devices deliver. : According to a new Leaderboard report from , Oracle and Tendril are the leading HEM software providers.

“Leaders in this market have shown their strengths with refined products that move beyond the pilot stage to full deployments with larger customers,” says Paige Leuschner, Research Analyst with Navigant. “We believe Oracle and Tendril are doing this with a broad portfolio of HEM applications that deliver impactful reductions in the overall energy usage of end customers.”

According to Navigant Research, four of the companies ranked in this Leaderboard Report are smaller startups offering energy monitoring services at a smaller scale. They are working to secure additional customers to become more significant in the HEM and related markets.

This report, , examines the strategy and execution of 14 companies that offer software-based HEM solutions. These players are rated on 10 criteria: vision; go-to-market strategy; partners; technology; geographic reach; sales & marketing; product performance; product portfolio & integrations; pricing; and staying power. Using Navigant Research’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the global HEM market.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Navigant Research Leaderboard: Home Energy Management is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

175 GW of renewables is a tall target but India seems to be well on its way to achieve that.

Mr Vikash Vohra

Director - Sales & Marketing

SAPA



Challenges faced by company while managing supply chain?

The Challenges are manifold, primarily it is difficult to get accurate forecasts from customers as the lead times are very aggressive due to a lot of uncertainty in the solar industry.

In a typical installation for a solar power plant, aluminium structures require a lot of components and subcomponents which can differ depending on the system being installed on the layout. For example, our Short Rail System comprises of four sub-components, whereas the Additional Tilt System comprises of 7 sub-components. Then add the fact that you require a combination of two or more systems to be applied to the same site. This may seem easy to manage if you are servicing only a handful of projects, however in Sapa, we pride ourselves on servicing multiple projects, large and small, each one with a strict deadline and requiring customized solutions.

Being part of the World’s Largest Aluminium Solutions Company, we have a robust production system to ensure quick turnaround for large volumes. We have inherently reduced the lead time by ensuring ready materials are always in stock for downstream processes of coating and fabrication, all are under a single roof. In addition to the above, we keep ample stocks of subcomponents and accessories, which are imported from Mounting Systems GmBH, Germany.

The standardization of the clamps & subcomponents is another engineering advantage we have for all our products and services all the modules available in the market.

Implementing TQM to maintain quality of the product?

As the Industry Leader, we recognize the importance of compliance and quality in delivering high-value products to customers. All of our manufacturing sites maintain certification standards set by our Hydro Quality System. Being the World’s Largest Aluminium Solutions Company, a lot of our customers are looking for the same quality of products as is received by their counterparts in other countries. Focusing on such specific needs from our customers, we follow the same global quality policies and adopt similar quality maintenance techniques while manufacturing as our other plants in Europe & North America. Total Quality Management (TQM) is an integral part of every process and best quality practices like 5S, Genesis and six sigma are thoroughly followed to achieve customer satisfaction.

How can companies ensure better quality management while manufacturing?

In manufacturing, quality is a process that ensures customers receive products free from defects and meet their needs. Quality must be built in the fundamental of any organization. While manufacturing the challenges are to have control of the processes, this could be achieved by constantly monitoring the process using statistical process control and measurement system analysis. Failure mode effective analysis and control plans help to keep process in the control proactively. Continuous training and motivating employees in the organization for improving the quality builds quality from grassroot. Every day, daily management L1 meeting monitoring quality helps to ensure that all process is in control. Implementation of ISO 9001 Quality System, conducting internal audits and regular management review meeting provides top management focus directly on quality. Total productive maintenance helps the machines and equipments to perform more reliable. Advanced quality planning and production part approval process helps to develop products without defects.

Quality is the standard of the organization.

 

Mr. Bhavesh Modi,

Director,

Sanelite

  • What are the challenges faced by the company in managing the supply chain?
    As most of the people in the industry are aware, this business is capital intensive. You need a huge working capital even if running a comparative smaller industry. Hence the turnaround time which is the time you invest for a product or a project and the time you realize the money must be as short as possible. While there is little issue with the PV modules supply chain, it becomes bigger with the EPC, as there are lot of dependencies on the external factors. There are government agencies involved, Discoms involved, and a whole lot of different suppliers from different sectors. Aggravating the pain are the incentives and subsidies offered by the government for which there is no timeline and no commitment. All in all, it’s all about the turn-around time, the shorter it is, the better you can manage your supply chain.
  •  How you are implementing TQM in order to improve the quality of your products?
    Quality is an integral part of life for all of us at Sanelite. Sanelite Group itself while spread in many verticals stands on the sole pillar of quality. India being a lucrative market, very few people understand the importance of the quality and the value it provides the customer. Very few people understand that the solar projects come with a lifelong promise. And when you commit to the lifetime promise, you cannot afford to deteriorate quality of products. At Sanelite Solar, we take utmost care to provide our customers with the best quality products. We deploy thorough QC procedures and stringent quality checks to maintain TQM. At every stage of the lifecycle, right from raw materials till packaging of the product, right from gathering requirements through commissioning, quality is the principal lived. An important thing to note here that the earlier a defect is identified, the least costly its solution is.
  • How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?
    Quality is a virtue by itself, and it needs to be lived. For instance, every personnel at our manufacturing facility – labour, engineer, technician, manager, everyone – follows a quality manual. Whatever work they do has a defined set of quality checks to be done, and they are evaluated regularly. The key is that every person being involved in the lifecycle of the product should know his contribution towards the product they are creating, and know the quality standards the product is set to achieve – be it checking raw materials, processing them, operating machines, product testing or packaging.

Mr. Manik Garg,

Director,

Saatvik Green Energy



What are the challenges faced by the company in managing the supply chain?

   Managing the supply chain of any company requires constant coordination between various departments within the organisation as well as all the people involved in a transaction. Since the promoters have an experience in the manufacturing sector of over 30 years, we directly implement their learnings with some customisation to the industry. Given that there are so many raw materials to be procured to assemble solar panels, it becomes very important to restrict the number of vendors, which not only helps maintain the timeline of raw material procurement, but also improves quality. When the product is ready, one of the major challenge that prevails across the industry is to serve the customers located in the other part of the country, due to high transpiration costs. We are overcoming this challenge by building a network of warehouses across states, to help assist regular demand.

How you are implementing TQM in order to improve the quality of your products?

     People. Process. Precision. We work on these three principals to ensure TQM in our organisation. People are the most important resource in any organisation, and we go an extra mile to make sure that our people are performing to their maximum abilities at all times. We conduct regular training and personal guidance sessions for all our staff, to ensure that they are satisfied both at work, and outside work. If processes are well defined and easy to understand, it leaves no room for error. Not only do we comply with ISO, but we have also implemented SAP H4 HANA which helps in automating a lot of manual processes, for superior records and quality implementation. If your people and processes are sorted, precision comes naturally, and we are a very quality conscious company, hence precision plays a very important role. To assist our people and processes, we have all necessary quality control/inspection equipment both in-line and in the laboratory, to ensure precision in our production for highest quality products.

How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?

    While the basis to have quality management is to install quality inspection tools and equipment in the manufacturing process. Starting from incoming quality control to finished product quality check, various machines can be installed. More important is to train to the people working on these machines, to help achieve the purpose of these machines. Adequate off the job and on the job training to all employees is a prerequisite for better quality. Most important is to set the internal standards as to what is acceptable or not. If the criteria of rejection is kept very basic, the production process will definitely churn out some defective products. Hence, it is a comprehensive process, and depends on the vision of the management. Our values of sustainability and integrity dictate that we follow a strict quality policy, for long term relations with our esteemed customers.

TRENDS - STRUCTURE AND TRACKER

Jayesh S Dhodapkar, Key Account Manager, Sapa Extrusion India Pvt Ltd

  • What are the latest technology trends in PV Structures and Trackers Industry?

In today’s industry, a commercial or an industrial consumer of solar power expects the generation to be maximum with minimal to nil effect on the tariff. Keeping this basic motto in mind, all the structure manufacturers are working on reducing the weight of the structures, both on rooftops as well as ground mount without any compromise on the strength.

At Sapa, we are closely working with our partners “Mounting Systems Gmbh” in Germany to continuously innovate designs for rooftop structures that require additional tilt as well as structures that are flat mounted on metal sheds. Factors like structural stability and clearance from the metal shed for heat dissipation play a vital role. In addition to these factors, our structures factor in installation flexibility by offering mounting clamps suitable for any framed module.

Some of the structure manufacturers in Europe are developing FRP based structures which would be lighter than aluminium or steel, but will have cost implications.

  • What are the current price trends that structures and trackers industry follow?

Prices of structures are directly affected by the metal price index London Metal Exchange. Currently, the prices of most of the metals like aluminium (Structures and module frames), iron/steel (Structures) and Copper (Cables) are at a 7 year high. We are expecting the prices to remain stable with minor fluctuations at least till the first half of 2018.

Modules being 60 % of the total solar project cost an additional safeguard duty (as applicable), would not only affect the project directly, but also the BoS suppliers like structure and cable manufacturers. Currently, structures account for about 10 % of the project cost (including installation) and is the third most costly item in the complete project. Developers and EPCs are expecting a price reduction of at least 15 % over the current prices in order to sustain the project execution. With the price in metal trending bullish, value engineering the structure design is a probable option.

  • Since the projects are increasing in numbers, how has the demand outlook changed for the sector?

With an ambitious target of 40 GW on rooftop solar (by 2022) set by the government, day-by-day increasing number of EPCs, developers and OEMs are entering into the solar market. Given the number of projects going on simultaneously across different states for a single EPC as well, it is important for installers to complete the project quickly and move on to the next site. Supply chain of structures plays a huge role here as they need to be installed first, be it a ground mount or a rooftop solar project.

We at Sapa realised this need of the market well in advance and started regulating stocks of individual products, based on comprehensive analysis of previous data available. Based on the type of product, project capacity and the location of the project, the material can be supplied within a week of the order receipt. In addition to that, we have developed distributors across India, who can cater to local requirement in order to reduce the transit time and thereby support the project execution time.

STORAGE AND SMART SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES

"With Recent Advancements In Energy Storage Technology, How Will Indian Solar Sector Shape Up?"

Pg18 Perspective Sujoy Ghosh Country Head First Solar India

Mr.Sujoy Ghosh, Country Head, First Solar, India

2017 is shaping up to be a record year for solar PV installations worldwide as well as in India. We have also witnessed sub 2cents/kwhr tariffs in auctions in Saudi Arabia and Mexico for projects that are expected to be commissioned over the next 24-30 months, thereby creating a further compression in the overall value chain that needs to be met by equipment suppliers, financing agencies and the service providers (engineering, procurement and O&M).  Hence the companies that continue to focus on reducing costs, increasing scale and lowering their cost of capital/cost of doing business would be able to sustain through these times. Specifically on the PV module technology, the focus would remain on lowering of cost of production by either optimizing manufacturing processes, and/ or leveraging economies of scale. Also with the transition to more installations between the two tropics, there would be equal focus on long term reliability under harsher climates (hot and humid) and quality and consistency of processes would be under increased scrutiny from the end users. 1500V inverters would probably increase their market share as plant owners try to exploit every ounce of optimization feasible in order to achieve lower LCOE’s, while the scale of the blocks increase due to average increase in project capacities. 2018 would also see a an increased focus on hybridization of PV systems with storage or other forms of generation as grid capacity congestion issues begin to start becoming noticeable with the growth in both solar and wind in the recent past.

Pg18 George John mytrah

Mr. George John,Head -Mytrah Global Services,Mytrah Energy

Reverse bidding has become a norm in the renewable energy sector. The low tariffs especially pertaining to Solar sector can be attributed to the decreasing cost of solar modules due to advancement in technology. However, it is noteworthy that even today, most of our capacity comes
from Chinese manufacturers. The heavy emphasis by the government on ‘Make In India’ initiative is expected to drive the domestic manufacturers into building capacities to compete with the Chinese manufacturers. This would increase the self-reliance of the Solar sector by reducing dependencies.Intermittence in energy supply has been an age-old characteristic of renewable energy sector. Although Solar provides a more predictive forecast based on seasonality and time of the day, the power generation remains intermittent. The increasing global awareness on Battery storage and the technological innovations in this sector is bound to impact the Solar sector in the coming year. A successful breakthrough in terms of balancing the capacities and cost will make Solar sector more profitable in future. With Global companies such as Tesla overlooking Battery Storage innovations,this future might not be too far away.From an investment standpoint, Rooftop Solar has gained momentum and this trend is expected to continue into 2018. Rooftop Solar has seen investment from small scale investors as well, since it provides energy security coupled with government incentives.Another interesting trend we expect to see in Solar sector, especially in the near future, is the rise of smart grid solutions and Hybrid models using both wind and solar power generation. The increasing use of digitalization has already reached the Solar sector and we expect to see increased efficiencies because of this.In conclusion, 2018 will be an interesting year for Solar sector from supply chain point of view as well the enhanced efficiencies.

Pg17 Perspective SIndicatum

Mr. Devin Narang Country Head-India Sindicatum Renewable Energy Company.

Globally, India has probably the most robust policies in place for all forms of Renewable energy. What can be expected in 2018 borrows heavily from the initiatives the Government has in store for the sector. Specific targets and a well-defined roadmap to achieving them are encouraging. Addition of power generation capacity – especially through solar parks; building of domestic manufacturing capacities; refinements in Solar Policy (for utility scale & rooftop systems) and Bid Document – in particular, with regard to applicable duties and taxes; resolution of State-specific project development bottlenecks; and enhanced bankability of projects -  these are some initiatives in the offing by the Government. Technology, on the other hand has also grown steadily, reflecting in increased component efficiencies at competitive prices. However, with regard to PV modules, prices are expected to pick up from the lows seen hitherto while stabilizing at the optimum. Although the Indian market is nascent when it comes to Storage, it would be interesting to see how solar projects combined with storage sustain in the long run. Finally, two (interconnected) aspects that need concerted initiative from different stakeholders are: creation of energy demand and ensured energy offtake. Schemes such as ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana’ (DDUGJY) and ‘Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana’ (UDAY) have been important enabling factors from a macro perspective. Such developments have spurred growth in the sector – which stands at 15GW plus installed capacity on date. The achievement of 100GW of solar isn’t far.

Deployment of utility-scale Renewable Energy, particularly Wind and Solar Power, has progressed rapidly over the last few years despite recent challenges.

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Mr. Vivek Mishra Executive Director Meghraj Capital Advisors Private Limited
 
I foresee Solar attracting maximum investment in the next five years. Solar is the thrust area for GOI for achieving RE targets. The Ecosystem required for its growth has been put in place. The project risks and their mitigation strategies are known.  Solar because of viable tariffs and matured technology has attracted the interest of investors.  
 
The Government of India has set a renewable energy target of 175 GW to be achieved by 2022 of which solar will contribute 100 MW. India’s RE capacity at the end of FY17 was about 57 GW with wind contributing more than half of it, but Solar is gaining ground steadily. If the RE target has to be achieved, the current RE capacity has to triple in the remaining five years. As expected, major capacity contribution has to come from Solar (both IPP and rooftop), where the capacity has to increase at least nine times. In order to facilitate this, Government has put in place conducive policies & programmes (Eg. Solar Park and JNNSM), introduced infrastructure initiatives such as Green Corridors for evacuation from solar rich regions, created a demand push through increased solar RPO (from 2.5% to 8%) for obligated entities, promotion of solar pumps and other solar products, created capacity through Surya Mitra Program and facilitated development of indigenous manufacturing capability through Make in India and push to solar R&D. Government has exempted solar projects from environmental clearances and has facilitated the acquisition of land through Solar Parks. So far 34 Solar Parks in 21 states with a total capacity of 20,000 MW have received in-principle approval under Phase I of the initiative and under Phase II additional 20,000 MW has been approved.
 
Solar rooftop is attractive for Commercial and Industrial consumers as their retail tariffs are considerably higher than the cost of generation in most of the states. These consumers have added significant capacity under capex model. For residential consumers the payback period is still high; however, in future as retail tariffs increase, the solar rooftop will be an attractive proposition for them as well. 
 
It has been estimated that Solar will require investment of around INR 4800 billion, if it has to achieve the target. Fortunately the ever decreasing generation cost, established technology and growing demand has attracted strategic and financial investors, venture capitalists, private equity and pension funds. This has led to flow of investment and adoption of low cost financial innovations such as green bonds.  The solar industry is expected to mature with consolidation and see emergence of professionally managed relatively firms.
 
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Mr. Rahul Goswami, Managing Director, Greenstone Investment Bank
 
Greenstone expects utility scale solar and wind projects to continue to dominate the renewable energy investment sector in India over the next five years. We believe this will be driven by a number of factors:
 
First, the cost of electricity from solar and wind projects has achieved grid parity and the long-term trend suggests that costs will continue to decline. Consequently, we do expect substantial tenders for additional capacity and for utilities to increase their focus on integration and management. 
 
Second, there is substantial existing capital available to fund projects. Several established platforms have sufficient capital lient the appetite to grow substantially. Additionally, the sector continues to witness increasing interest from international groups. 
 
Third, transmission capacity is sufficient to absorb an additional 10 GW+ of intermittent generation based on feedback from industry consultants. Consequently, assuming the other areas can be appropriately managed (such as land acquisition), we do not see significant near term transmission hurdles for renewable energy. 
 
Ultimately, the utility scale renewable energy markets have matured substantially and our expectation is that robust capacity addition will continue over the next five years. 
 

Developers face varied challenges in building and managing a rooftop solar asset portfolio and some of the key challenges have been highlighted below.

Issuances of bonds, non-convertible debentures (NCDs) included have been witnessing record volumes for past 3 years.

Impact Of GST On Solar Sector

Key Driving factors for falling bids in india

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency sectors for the first quarter of 2018.

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ12018

Battery Storage

Corporate funding in Battery Storage came to $299 million in 12 deals compared to $154 million in six deals in Q4 2017. In a year-over-year (YoY) comparison, $80 million was raised in 10 deals in Q1 2017. 

Venture capital (VC) funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) raised by Battery Storage companies in Q1 2018 jumped to $299 million in 12 deals from $151 million in five deals in Q4 2017 due to some large deals in the quarter. Year-over-year, funding was significantly higher compared to the $58 million raised in eight deals in Q1 2017. 

The top five VC funded Battery Storage companies this quarter were: Stem, which raised $80 million from Activate Capital; Ionic Materials secured $65 million from Dyson, Samsung, A123, Hitachi, Renualt, Nissan, and Mitsubishi; Durapower secured an investment of $40.18 million from Banpu Infinergy Company and K-IX Ace; Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) received ~$38.5 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial; and $34 million was raised by Solid Energy.

Fifteen investors participated in Battery Storage funding this quarter with Energy Storage Systems companies raising the most. 

There were four M&A transactions involving Battery Storage companies in Q1 2018 and the financial details of the transactions were not disclosed. In Q4 2017 and Q1 2017, there was one M&A transaction each that did not disclose a transaction amount. 

Smart Grid

Corporate funding in Smart Grid came to $1.3 billion in nine deals compared to $796 million in 12 deals in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, $164 million was raised in 14 deals in Q1 2017. 

VC funding for Smart Grid companies increased 79 percent in Q1 2018 with $75 million in seven deals compared to $42 million in nine deals in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, in Q1 2017 $164 million was raised in 14 deals. 

The top VC funded Smart Grid companies included: Bidgely, which secured $27 million from Georgian Partners, Khosla Ventures, E.ON, innogy, and Constellation Technology Ventures; Husk Power Systems received an equity investment of $20 million from Shell Technology Ventures, Swedfund International, and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies; and Mnubo raised $16.5 million from HSB Group. 

Fifteen investors participated in Smart Grid VC funding rounds this quarter with SG Communications companies raising the most. 

A combined $1.3 billion was raised in two debt financing deals in Q1 2018, compared to $754 million raised in three deals in Q4 2017. 

One M&A transaction was announced in Q1 2018 and it did not disclose a transaction amount, compared to eight transactions (two disclosed) in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, there were seven M&A transactions in Q1 2017. 

Efficiency

Corporate funding in Energy Efficiency came to $104 million in five deals compared to $916 million in 14 deals in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, $514 million was raised in 17 deals in Q1 2017. 

VC funding raised by Energy Efficiency companies in Q1 2018 remained steady at $98 million in four deals compared to $95 million in 10 deals in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, $213 million was raised in 14 deals in Q1 2017. 

The Top Efficiency deals included: $61 million raised by ecobee from Energy Impact Partners and eight institutional investors including Thomvest, Relay Ventures, and the Amazon Alexa Fund; the $27 million raised by Carbon Lighthouse from GRC SinoGreen Fund, JCI Ventures, SV Tech Ventures, EBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Ulupono Initiative, Ekistic Ventures, Tom Steyer’s Radicle Impact Partners, former General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, and Tesla Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey B. Straubel; and the $10 million received by Petros PACE Finance from former Major League Baseball player Alex Rodriguez and his investment firm A-ROD.

Fifteen investors participated in VC funding this quarter. Within the sector, Temperature Control companies brought in the most funding. 

Debt and public market financing for Efficiency companies fell to $6 million in one deal this quarter compared to $621 million in three deals in Q4 2017. 

In Q1 2018, there was one M&A transaction (transaction details not disclosed) while in Q4 2017, there were three M&A transactions (all undisclosed). In Q1 2017, there were four M&A transactions in the Energy Efficiency sector, two of which disclosed transaction details. 

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ12018

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and research and consulting firm focused on cleantech. Mercom delivers market intelligence and funding and M&A reports covering Battery Storage, Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency, and Solar, and advises companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and strategic decision-making. Mercom's communications division helps companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, local communities, and strategic partners. About Mercom: http://www.mercomcapital.com. Mercom's clean energy reports: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/page/

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Sector adds record 167 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity, expands 8.3% in 2017

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the global solar sector in the first quarter of 2018. Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) into the solar sector in Q1 2018 fell 65 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) to $2 billion from the $5.7 billion raised in Q4 2017. Year-over-year (YoY), Q1 2018 funding was 38 percent lower than the $3.2 billion raised in Q1 2017.

To learn more about the report, visithttp://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ12018

“After a strong fourth quarter in 2017, financial activity slowed again in Q1 2018 to the post-tariff announcement levels of last year as uncertainties and a lack of clarity in the markets took a toll on investments,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “The bright spot during Q1 was a record-high number of solar project acquisitions, proving that solar power generation is a sought-after asset class.” 

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector fell 75 percent QoQ to $161 million in 22 deals compared to the $639 million raised in 30 deals in Q4 2017. The amount raised was also lower YoY compared to the $588 million raised in 23 deals in Q1 2017. 

The majority of the VC funding raised in Q1 2018 went to solar downstream companies with $124.5 million in 18 deals.

The top VC deals in descending order included: $55 million raised by Off Grid Electric, $25 million raised by d.light design, $23 million secured by Solaria Corporation, $12.5 million raised by Renewable Properties, $11 million raised by Kiran Energy Solar, and M-KOPA’s $10 million deal. A total of 30 VC investors participated in solar funding in Q1 2018. 

Solar public market financing came to $103 million in four deals in Q1 2018, a steep decline QoQ from the $657 million raised in 10 deals in Q4 2017. It was also significantly lower YoY than Q1 2017 when $461 million was raised in 13 deals. Sky Energy had the only solar IPO in Q1 2018. 

Announced debt financing totaled $1.8 billion in 17 deals during the first quarter of 2018. In a QoQ comparison, 23 deals were announced in Q4 2017 for a total of $4.4 billion. YoY, $2.2 billion was raised in 25 deals in Q1 2017. Most of the debt raised in Q1 2018 was by solar downstream companies. 

Large-scale project funding announced in Q1 2018 totaled $2.7 billion in 58 deals, down from $3.7 billion in 49 deals announced in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, $2.6 billion was raised in 33 deals in Q1 2017.

Just one residential and commercial solar fund was announced in Q1 2018 (for $400 million), compared to $213 million raised in three funds in Q4 2017. During the same quarter of last year (Q1 2017), $630 million was raised in six funds. 

There were 19 solar M&A transactions announced in Q1 2018 compared to 13 transactions in Q4 2017 and 29 transactions in Q1 2017. Of the 19 total transactions in Q1 2018, 10 involved solar downstream companies. 

There were 80 large-scale solar project acquisitions (16 disclosed for $1.9 billion) in Q1 2018 compared to 67 transactions (26 disclosed for $3.7 billion) in Q4 2017. In a YoY comparison, 49 transactions (18 disclosed for $1.9 billion) were announced Q1 2017. About 7.7 GW of large-scale solar projects were acquired in Q1 2018 compared to 5.8 GW acquired in Q4 2017. There were 20 investment firms and funds that acquired 24 projects in Q1 2018, totaling 1.2 GW, followed by utilities and IPPs where 13 companies picked up 30 projects totaling 1.3 GW. Twelve Project developers acquired 14 projects for 3.4 GW during the quarter.

There were 328 companies and investors covered in this report. It is 87 pages in length, and contains 64 charts, graphs and tables.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ12018

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom’s consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence, and overall strategic decision making. Mercom’s consulting division also delivers highly respected industry market intelligence reports covering Solar Energy and Smart Grid technology. Our reports provide timely information on industry happenings and ahead-of-the-curve analysis for C-level decision makers. Mercom’s communications division helps clean energy companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, communities, and strategic partners. For more information about Mercom Capital Group, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To receive a copy of Mercom’s popular weekly market intelligence reports, visit: http://eepurl.com/cCZ6nT.

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Battery Storage companies secure $714 million; Smart Grid companies bring in $422 million; and Energy Efficiency companies receive $384 million

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy research and communications firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency sectors for 2017. 

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ42017

In 2017, a combined $1.5 billion was raised by Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency companies, an increase from the $1.3 billion raised in 2016.

Battery Storage

In 2017, VC funding into Battery Storage companies almost doubled to $714 million raised in 30 deals from the $365 million raised in 38 deals in 2016, largely due to the $400 million Microvast deal. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, rose to $890 million compared to $540 million in 2016. 

Energy Storage Downstream companies received the most funding with $68 million followed by Lithium-based Battery companies with $65 million.

The top VC funded companies included: Microvast Power Systems with $400 million, Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS) with $66 million, Forsee Power brought in $65 million, Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) raised $34 million, and Primus Power raised $32 million.

Eighty-six VC investors participated in Battery Storage deals in 2017 compared to 62 in 2016.

In 2017, announced debt and public market financing for Battery Storage companies remained steady at $177 million raised in 12 deals compared to $175 million generated by eight deals in 2016.

Three project funds totaling $446 million were announced in the Battery Storage category in 2017, compared to $820 million raised in 2016 in seven deals.

Nine Battery Storage project funding deals were announced in 2017 totaling nearly $2.1 billion. By comparison, just $33 million was raised in four deals in 2016.

There were six M&A transactions in the Battery Storage category in 2017, of which only two disclosed transaction amounts. In 2016 there were 11 M&A transactions, three of which disclosed transaction amounts.

Smart Grid

VC funding in the Smart Grid sector rose to $422 million in 45 deals in 2017, compared to $389 million raised in 42 deals in 2016. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, came to $1.2 billion compared to $613 million in 2016.

The top VC funded companies in 2017 were ChargePoint, which brought in $82 million and $43 million in two separate deals, Actility which received $75 million, Brilliant which secured $21 million, and Particle and Urjanet each raising $20 million.

Eighty-eight investors funded Smart Grid companies in 2017, compared to 82 in 2016. Top VC investors in 2017 included: ABB Technology Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Energy Impact Partners, EnerTech Capital, GE Ventures, innogy, National Grid, Obvious Ventures, and Siemens.

Smart Charging of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), vehicle-to-grid (V2G) companies, had the largest share of VC funding in 2017 with $155 million in 10 deals, followed by Demand Response companies with $94 million in four deals.

In 2017, five debt and public market financing deals totaling $774 million were announced, compared to $224 million raised in five deals in 2016. There were no IPOs announced for Smart Grid companies in 2017.

There were 27 M&A transactions recorded in the Smart Grid sector (just seven of these deals disclosed transaction amounts) in 2017 totaling $2.5 billion. In 2016 there were 15 transactions (four disclosed) for $2.4 billion. The top disclosed transaction was the $1.1 billion acquisition of Aclara by Hubbell.

Efficiency

VC funding for the Energy Efficiency sector fell to $384 million in 38 deals in 2017 compared to $528 million in 33 deals in 2016. Total corporate funding, including debt and public market financing, was $3.3 billion, compared to $3.8 billion in 2016.

The top VC funded companies were View, which raised $100 million, followed by Kinestral Technologies with $65 million, RENEW Energy Partners with $40 million, Power Survey and Equipment brought in $24 million, and Stack Lighting with $16 million.

Efficient Home/Building companies captured the most funding with $172 million in five deals in 2017. A total of 51 investors participated in funding deals in 2017 compared to 72 investors in 2016. Energy Impact Partners was the most active investor in 2017. 

In 2017, debt and public market financing announced by Energy Efficiency companies fell to $2.9 billion in 16 deals compared to the $3.2 billion raised in 16 deals in 2016. 2017 saw seven Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing deals bring in more than $1.6 billion compared to 12 deals that brought in $2.3 billion in 2016. 

There were two securitization deals in 2017 for nearly $581 million compared to nine securitization deals for $1.8 billion in 2016. Securitization deals have now exceeded $4.5 billion in 24 deals since 2014. 

M&A activity for the Efficiency sector in 2017 dropped to 10 transactions, three of which disclosed transaction amounts. In 2016, there were 14 M&A transactions with five that disclosed transaction amounts. 

The largest disclosed transaction was the $526 million acquisition of LEDvance by a Chinese consortium consisting of IDG Capital, MLS, and Yiwu. 

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ42017

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and research and consulting firm focused on cleantech. Mercom delivers market intelligence and funding and M&A reports covering Battery Storage, Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency, and Solar, and advises companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and strategic decision-making. Mercom's communications division helps companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, local communities, and strategic partners. About Mercom: http://www.mercomcapital.com. Mercom's clean energy reports: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/page/.

# # #

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, has released its annual report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in 2017. 

Total global corporate funding into the solar sector, including venture capital/private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing raised came to $12.8 billion, a 41 percent increase compared to the $9.1 billion raised in 2016.  

To learn more about Mercom’s 2017 Solar Funding and M&A Report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ42017

"A strong fourth quarter pushed overall funding higher in 2017. Higher installation levels around the world, the lack of threat to the solar investment tax credit, lower than expected tariff recommendation by U.S. ITC, strong debt financing activity, and over a billion dollars in securitization deals helped the solar industry have a much better year in terms of financial activity compared to 2016. After several challenging years, most of the solar securities were up in 2017 reflecting overall positive sentiments around the solar industry even as several Chinese manufacturers decided to go private. Of course, all this could change swiftly if President Trump decides to impose higher tariffs in the trade case," commented Raj Prabhu, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercom Capital Group. 

Global VC investments came to $1.6 billion in 99 deals in 2017, up 30 percent from the $1.3 billion raised by 78 deals in 2016 - led by several large private equity deals in India.  

Solar downstream companies accounted for 85 percent of total VC funding in 2017, bringing in $1.4 billion of the total $1.6 billion raised. Thin-film companies brought in $106 million while service providers raised $47 million. 

Investments in PV technology companies came to $40 million and Balance of Systems (BoS) companies raised $36 million. The concentrated solar power (CSP) category raised $8 million and the concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) category received $6 million. 

The top VC/PE deals reported in 2017 included a deal for $200 million signed by Lightsource Renewable Energy. ReNew Power also had two deals of $200 million each, followed by Greenko Energy Holdings which raised $155 million. Hero Future Energies raised $125 million and CleanMax Solar raised $100 million. Overall, five of the top six solar VC funding deals in 2017 came from India.

There were 162 VC/PE investors that participated in funding rounds in 2017, with eight involved in multiple rounds: Engie, Avista Development, DSM Venturing, InnoEnergy, Innogy, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Shell, and Techstars. 

Public market financing was flat in 2017 to $1.7 billion raised in 33 deals from $1.8 billion raised in 27 deals in 2016. Three IPOs were logged during the year that raised a combined total of $363 million for Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund, New Energy Solar Fund, and Clenergy. 

Announced debt financing in 2017 surged to $9.5 billion compared to $6 billion in 2016. There were six securitization deals in 2017 totaling $1.3 billion. Securitization deals surpassed the $1 billion for the  year, a first. 

Large-scale project funding announced in 2017 reached a $14 billion raised in 167 deals, compared to $9.4 billion raised in 133 deals during 2016. A total of 161 investors funded about 20.5 GW of large-scale solar projects in 2017 compared to 5.9 GW funded by 153 investors in 2016. 

The top investors in large-scale projects included Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which invested in 13 projects, followed by Santander with eight deals, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Siemens Financial Services with six deals each. 

$2.4 billion was raised by 16 residential and commercial solar project funds in 2017 which was down 50 percent compared to $4.9 billion raised by 30 funds in 2016. The top fundraisers were: Sunlight Financial, Sunnova, Solar Mosaic, SolarCity, and Spruce Finance. Since 2009, solar residential and commercial firms offering leases, PPAs, and loans have raised more than $24.8 billion in lease and loan funds. 

There were 71 corporate M&A transactions in the solar sector in 2017, up slightly from 68 transactions recorded in 2016. Solar downstream companies were involved in 51 of these transactions. Engie acquired three companies while BayWa, Brookfield Asset Management, Horizon Solar Power, Siva Power, Solar Spectrum, and Sonnedix acquired two companies each. The largest and the most notable transaction in 2017 was the $1.6 billion acquisition of FTP Power (sPower) by AES and Alberta Investment Management (AIMCo) from Fir Tree Partners.

Project acquisitions jumped up 67 percent as a record 228 large-scale solar projects with a combined capacity of more than 20.4 GW were acquired in 2017, compared to 2016 when 12.2 GW changed hands in 218 transactions. 

Mercom also tracked 187 large-scale project announcements across the globe that totaled 10.6 GW in Q4 2017 and 922 large-scale project announcements totaling 50.1 GW for all of 2017.

To learn more about Mercom’s 2017 Solar Funding and M&A Report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ42017

 

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom’s consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence, and overall strategic decision making. Mercom’s consulting division also delivers highly respected industry market intelligence reports covering Solar Energy and Smart Grid. Our reports provide timely industry happenings and ahead-of-the-curve analysis specifically for C-level decision making. Mercom’s communications division helps clean energy companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities, and strategic partners. For more information about Mercom Capital Group, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To get a copy of Mercom’s popular market intelligence reports, visit: http://eepurl.com/cCZ6nT.

The prices attained in recent auctions are influenced by several factors

The importance of quality infrastructure across the solar value chain

Various Instruments For India’s Clean Energy Support Measures 

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Credits: IRENA REMap India Paper 2017

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, has released its latest quarterly report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency sectors during the third quarter and first nine months of 2017. 

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ32017

Mercom found that, in the first nine months (9M) of 2017, $1.23 billion was raised by Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies, up from $910 million raised in 9M 2016.

Battery Storage

In Q3 2017, VC funding for Battery Storage companies dropped to $83 million in seven deals compared to $422 million raised in 10 deals during Q2 2017. A year earlier, $30 million was raised in nine deals in Q3 2016. In 9M 2017, $563 million was raised in 25 deals compared to $209 million raised in 29 deals in 9M 2016. 

The top VC funded Battery Storage companies in Q3 2017 were: Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which raised $34 million from Energy Impact Partners, Southern Company, DBL Partners, GE Ventures, AGL Energy, Macquarie Capital, and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Romeo Power, which raised $30 million; and Gridtential Energy, which secured $11 million from 1955 Capital, East Penn Manufacturing, Crown Battery Manufacturing, Leoch International, Power-Sonic, The Roda Group, and the company's chairman, Ray Kubis. 

In all, 16 investors participated in Battery Storage funding in Q3 2017 with Energy Storage Downstream companies raising the most. 

The third quarter saw two debt and public market financing deals in Battery Storage totaling $45 million compared to $107 million raised in seven deals in Q2 2017. In 9M 2017, $174 million was raised in 11 deals compared to six deals that brought in $120 million in 9M 2016. 

There was one M&A transaction involving a Battery Storage company in Q3 2017 compared to three M&A transactions in Q2 2017. In the first nine months of 2017, there were five transactions (two disclosed), down from nine transactions (two disclosed) in 9M 2016. Two Storage projects were also acquired in Q3 2017.

Smart Grid

VC funding for Smart Grid companies in Q3 2017 totaled $76 million in 14 deals, compared to $139 million raised in eight deals in Q2 2017. In a year-over-year (YoY) comparison, $11 million was raised in seven deals in Q3 2016. In 9M 2017, $380 million was raised in 36 deals compared to $343 million raised in the same number of deals in 9M 2016. 

Top VC funded Smart Grid companies included: Particle, which secured $20 million from Spark Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and previous investors; INTEREL, which raised $11.9 million in funding from Jolt Capital; Roost, which received $10.4 million in funding from Aviva Ventures, Desjardins Insurance, and Fosun RZ Capital; Tritium, which secured $8 million from entrepreneur Brian Flannery; and Innowatts, which raised $6 million from Shell Technology Ventures, Iberdrola Ventures - Perseo, and Energy & Environment Investment. 

In all, 28 investors participated in Smart Grid VC funding rounds in Q3 2017, with SG Communications companies raising the most. 

A total of $11 million was raised in one debt financing deal in Q3 2017 compared to the $9 million raised in one deal in Q2 2017. In 9M 2017, $20 million was raised in two deals compared to $217 million raised in four deals in 9M 2016. 

There were six M&A transactions (two disclosed) in Q3 2017. In Q2 2017, there were six transactions (two disclosed). In 9M 2017, there were 19 transactions (five disclosed) compared to 13 transactions (four disclosed) in 9M 2016. 

Efficiency

VC funding raised by Energy Efficiency companies in Q3 2017 came to $47 million in eight deals compared to $29 million raised in six deals in Q2 2017. In a YoY comparison, $61 million was raised in five deals in Q3 2016. In the first nine months of 2017, $289 million was raised by Energy Efficiency companies in 28 deals compared to $358 million raised in the same number of deals in 9M 2016. 

The Top VC deals in the efficiency category included: Power Survey and Equipment, which received $24 million in funding from EnerTech Capital, Investissement Quebec, Cycle Capital Management, Fonds de solidarite FTQ, and BDC Capital; Corvi, which received a $10 million strategic investment from Hero Enterprise; and Deco Lighting, which secured $8 million in funding from Siena Funding. 

In all, nine investors participated in VC funding in Q3 2017. Within the sector, Efficiency Components companies brought in the most funding. 

Announced debt and public market financing for Energy Efficiency technologies plunged to $615 million in four deals in Q3 2017 compared to the $1.4 billion raised in six deals in Q2 2017. In 9M 2017, $2.3 billion was raised in 13 deals compared to the same amount raised in 11 deals in 9M 2016. 

There was one Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing deal in Q3 2017 for $205 million versus three deals in Q2 2017 that raised $668 million. In 9M 2017, $873 million was raised in four deals compared to the $1.3 billion raised in six deals in 9M 2016. 

There were two M&A transactions (one disclosed) involving Energy Efficiency companies in Q3 2017, up from just one undisclosed transaction in Q2 2017. For the first nine months of 2017, there were seven transactions (three disclosed), down from 12 transactions in 9M 2016 (four disclosed).

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ32017

 

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and research and consulting firm focused on cleantech. Mercom delivers market intelligence and funding and M&A reports covering Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency and Solar and advises companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and strategic decision-making. Mercom's communications division helps companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, local communities, and strategic partners. About Mercom: http://www.mercomcapital.com. Mercom's clean energy reports: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/page/.

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VALUE CREATION IN THE PHOTOVOLTAIC SECTOR

Auctions in the power sector

Large-scale project funding crosses $10 billion in 9M 2017

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released a new report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the third quarter of 2017 and the first nine months of 2017.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ32017 

Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing) in the first nine months (9M) of 2017 was slightly lower compared to the same period in 2016, with about $7.1 billion raised compared to the $7.5 billion raised in 9M 2016. There were 143 deals in 9M of 2017 compared to 125 deals in the same period of 2016.

Looking at just Q3 2017 data, Mercom found that corporate funding in the solar sector grew 74 percent compared to Q2 2017, with $2.4 billion raised in 45 deals. In Q2 2017, $1.4 billion was raised in 37 deals. Year-over-year (YoY), funding in Q3 2017 was about 19 percent lower compared to the $3 billion raised in Q3 2016. 

“Debt financing activity outside of the United States helped bump up corporate funding in the third quarter as financing activity in the United States was muted ahead of the Suniva anti-dumping case decision,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. 

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector in 9M 2017 rose a slight seven percent to $985 million from $925 million raised during the same period in 2016, largely due to a strong first quarter in 2017.

In Q3 2017, VC funding for the solar sector doubled with $269 million raised in 23 deals compared to $128 million raised in the same number of deals during Q2 2017. Most of the VC funding raised in Q3 2017 (72 percent) went to solar downstream companies with $193 million in 13 deals. 

The Top VC deal in the third quarter of 2017 was the $100 million raised by Indian rooftop installer CleanMax Solar. It was followed by the $56 million raised by Singapore’s Sunseap Group, the $21 million secured by Sol Voltaics, and Ampt’s $15 million. Ubiquitous Energy also raised $15 million. A total of 35 investors participated in solar funding in the third quarter of 2017. 

Solar public market funding was approximately 12 percent lower compared to the first nine months of 2016, with $1 billion raised in 9M 2017 compared to $1.2 billion raised during the same period of 2016. Public market financing fell significantly in Q3 2017 with just $79 million in four deals, down from $473 million raised in six deals in Q2 2017. 

During the first nine months of 2017, debt financing activity accounted for $5.1 billion in 51 deals, which was almost six percent lower compared to the first nine months of 2016, when $5.4 billion was raised in 55 deals. In Q3 2017, announced debt financing rose steeply to $2.1 billion in 18 deals compared to the $798 million raised in eight deals during the second quarter of 2017. 

In the top debt deals, Greenko Energy Holdings raised $1 billion in green bonds in two separate deals, $650 million and $350 million. Cypress Creek Renewables also received $450 million from Temasek. 

Announced large-scale project funding in 9M 2017 crossed the $10 billion mark, with $10.2 billion raised for the development of 117 projects. For the third quarter of 2017 alone, announced large-scale project funding came in at more than $2.8 billion in 36 deals.

Announced residential and commercial solar funds totaled $2.2 billion in 9M 2017, which was lower by almost 35 percent when compared to the $3.4 billion raised during the same period of 2016. 

The first nine months of 2017 saw a total of 58 solar M&A transactions, compared to the 48 transactions seen in the same period (9M) of 2016. There were 18 solar M&A transactions in Q3 2017, up from 11 solar M&A transactions seen in the preceding quarter (Q2 2017) and equal to the number of transactions (18) posted in Q3 2016. Of the 18 total transactions in Q3 2017, 13 involved solar downstream companies, three involved PV manufacturers, and there was one transaction each by a BOS company and an Equipment provider. 

There were 161 large-scale project acquisitions in first nine months of 2017 aggregating over 14.6 GW, compared to 145 project acquisitions totaling just 7.1 GW during the same period of 2016.

Similar to Q2 2017, investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers in Q3 2017, with 26 projects for over 2 GW, followed by project developers with 16 transactions totaling over 1.1 GW. 

Mercom tracked 296 new large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q3 2017 totaling 15.7 GW. 

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ32017

 

About Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom’s consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision making. Mercom’s consulting division also delivers highly respected industry market intelligence reports covering Solar Energy and Battery Storage, Smart Grid, & Efficiency. Our reports provide timely industry happenings and ahead-of-the-curve analysis specifically for C-level decision making. Mercom’s communications division helps clean energy companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities and strategic partners. For more information about Mercom Capital Group, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To get a copy of Mercom’s popular market intelligence reports, visit: http://eepurl.com/cCZ6nT.

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