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An official UK Government poll has found levels of public support for renewable energy reach an all-time high.

The survey asked a sample of 2,012 people taken from around the country a series of questions on climate change and energy.

It found that support for renewable energy was at a high of 85 percent, a 3 percent increase on the previous record set last year. 74 percent were also concerned about climate change.

The poll is run by the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy every three months.

Public support for individual renewable technologies all peaked at record levels as well: onshore wind reached 76 percent, the seventh increase in a row, and offshore wind topped out at 83 percent. Opposition to these technologies was also in single digits.

Solar power, which has never been below 80 percent since the poll began in 2012, reached a new record of 87 percent support.

In addition, the public is becoming more aware of the economic case for these technologies; 75 percent felt renewable projects provided economic benefits to the UK.

The number of people who said they would be happy to have a large-scale renewable project in their local area also jumped to 66 percent, an 8 percent increase since the question was last asked a year ago.

Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director at wind trade body RenewableUK said the survey showed people “strongly feel Government should be building more cheap, reliable, renewable energy here in the UK.”

“It’s great that our industry is winning the global race for clean energy, and to see that the British public is cheering them on,” she added.

Hannah Martin, Head of Energy at Greenpeace UK, said the results confirmed that “Britain is ready to enter the 21st century,”

“Figures published last week show that even rural conservatives, blamed by the government for opposing onshore wind expansion, support onshore wind expansion.”

Over 50 major manufacturers and retailers have signed up to a world-first pact to completely eliminate plastic packaging from its supply chain.

The UK Plastics Pact brings together a range of brand names which are responsible for 80 percent of all the plastic packaging sold in UK supermarkets. These include heavy hitters, such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Coca-Cola, ASDA, Nestle, and Unilever.

Under the terms of the new initiative, the companies have committed to “eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging”, which will include the wholesale redesigning and alternative use of packaging across their entire business.

100 percent of plastic packaging will have to be “reusable, recyclable, or compostable” by 2025.

The pact is being led by sustainability experts WRAP and the Ellen McCarthur Foundation, which works on building a circular economy.

The UK Government, Scottish and Welsh Governments have also pledged support to the initiative. Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, commented ahead of a launch event: “Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realised if government, businesses and the public work together. Industry action can prevent excess plastic reaching our supermarket shelves in the first place. 

“I am delighted to see so many businesses sign up to this pact and I hope others will soon follow suit.”

It is hoped the ambitious campaign can be replicated around the world with the aim of greatly reducing the damage caused by non-biodegradable plastics on the environment.

Ellen MacArthur said: “This bold new pact will bring together businesses, policymakers and the public to create a circular economy for plastics that tackles the causes of plastics waste and pollution, not just the symptoms.”

She added that to that to achieve the demanding targets will require a focus on innovation, better packaging design, and investment in end-of-use systems. This will “not only generate long-term benefits for the environment, but is also a huge economic opportunity.”

“We encourage others around the world to help drive this momentum towards finding global solutions to what is a global problem.”

WRAP will start work immediately on identifying the projects which can deliver the maximum impact in both the short and long term. These include building a stronger recycling system and overcoming barriers to reusing packaging.

The UK’s Minister for Clean Energy, Claire Perry added: “Momentum is gathering around this crucial mission and it is fantastic to see WRAP leading on this world-first pact to reduce plastic pollution”.

The full list of members to the pact can be found here.

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A fresh injection of $4.1 billion from the international community has been made available to help prevent biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The money will be used by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a fund to support developing countries meet their environmental goals.

Close to 30 donor countries took part in a closed meeting in Stockholm this week to discuss the level of funding to be made available over the next four years.

The organisation’s broad remit includes projects to tackle marine plastic pollution, support renewable energy, build sustainable cities, and develop stronger forest management.

"We are pleased with the outcome of the negotiations; It is entirely in line with government priorities,” said Isabella Lovin, Deputy Prime Minister and Climate Minister of Sweden. “Also, the Fund’s working methods have been further strengthened, giving it more of a strategic climate focus and increased resources, including for biodiversity, chemicals and waste.”

The current funding round, covering the period from 2019 to 2022 is slightly down on the record high of $4.43 billion achieved in 2014. Despite this, the new agenda has increased the amount of carbon emissions which should be reduced from GEF projects, and strengthened biodiversity targets.

“A clear majority of donors have stepped up their support for the GEF, signalling the urgency of the global environmental agenda, and trust in the GEF to help tackle the problem and achieve even greater results,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson. “We need to forge the partnerships that will help transform the food, urban and energy systems in an integrated way,” she said.

The GEF brings together 183 countries, UN agencies, and major development banks, among others, to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental problems.

Since its inception in 1992, the fund has provided over $17 billion in grants to environmental projects around the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron has topped off his 3-day visit to the United States with a speech urging stronger action on climate change.

In a rare opportunity to speak directly to all Republican and Democrat lawmakers in Washington DC, Mr Macron chose to highlight the vital need to reduce carbon emissions.

“By polluting the oceans, not mitigating CO2 emissions, and destroying our biodiversity — we are killing our planet. Let us face it. There is no planet B,” he added, which met with laughter and applause from both sides of the aisle.

Climate change has long been a divisive issue in US politics, especially among Republicans who often deny the decades-old scientific consensus on the issue.

The French President also spoke of his hope, and confidence, that the US will "one day" re-join the landmark Paris climate agreement. President Trump’s planned withdrawal from the deal, made last year, leaves the US as the only country in the world not to be signed up.

“We must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy. Because what is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet, one sacrifice things for the future of our children. What is the meaning of our life if our decision, our conscious decision, is to reduce the opportunities for our children and grandchildren,” he concluded.

Since taking office in May 2017, President Macron has made climate change and the low-carbon economy a key concern. He hosted the major One Planet Summit in December, which convened world leaders in Paris to discuss how to make progress on sustainable finance. His administration also plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2030; double wind power capacity within five years, and will outlaw offshore oil and gas exploration.

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An independent coffee chain has taken the bold step and banned all disposable coffee cups from its cafes.

Boston Tea Party, an independently owned British business runs 22 cafes, mostly in the south of England.

The company’s owner, Sam Roberts, made the announcement in a blog this week, commenting that “the simple, unavoidable truth is that the only truly ethically solution is a reusable cup instead of a single use one.”

From 1st June, customers wanting to order a hot drink in one of its cafes must either bring their own cup, buy one there and then, or pay a deposit which can be immediately returned. Boston’s reusable cups will now be sold at a subsidised rate.

“We want to demonstrate to other operators that to make a difference, big change is needed. We will make this work and we’ll share details of how we’ve done it with anyone who wants our help to do the same,” he added.

The chain has already responded to increased public awareness on waste by removing plastic straws and switching to glass bottles.

It is thought to be the first in the country to make such an outright ban on cups, although the supermarket Waitrose is trialling a similar scheme this year.

Other popular coffee outlets in the UK are also implementing ways to reduce plastic and paper waste. Pret A Manger launched its own deposit return scheme earlier this month and also offers customers a 50p discount in reusable cups. Costa Coffee is pledging to up the ante even further by paying waste collectors to recycle 500 million paper cups by 2020.

“We dream of a future where our children marvel at the fact that pre 2018 we would regularly use a cup once and throw it away. The discarded cup could then take centuries to decompose. When you consider it in those terms, it really is senseless,” Roberts concluded.

Danish energy giant Ørsted has announced its first large-scale venture into battery storage at a site near Liverpool.

The company will build and operate the 20 megawatt (MW) project next month with a view to providing services to the National Grid by the end of the year.

The Carnegie Road battery site already has planning permission and a grid connection in place, following earlier work by Shawi Energi.

Ryan O’Keefe, Head of Energy Storage & Solar at Ørsted, said: “We’re excited to develop this project. As batteries have a very high frequency response capability we believe they’ll play an important role in providing services for the support of the stability of the power grid.”

The UK’s rapid transition to a low-carbon economy has meant many aging coal and gas plants going offline. At the same time, the growth in renewable energy has meant a need to manage electricity demand in a different way.
Energy storage technologies, such as batteries, are seen as a key component of the future energy grid, and new projects are coming online at a rapid rate.

Matthew Wright, Managing Director of Ørsted UK, commented that acquiring the plant is “an important step forward as it’s our first commercial-scale battery storage project.”

“We’re investing billions of pounds in the UK’s energy infrastructure and this is another significant investment that puts the UK at the heart of the global energy transition.”

Ørsted, formerly known as DONG Energy, operates 9 offshore wind farms in the UK with another 4 under construction. In 2017, it piloted a small 2MW battery project attached to the Burbo Bank wind farm in Liverpool Bay.

“The future energy system will be completely transformed from what it is today, with a smarter, more flexible grid, balancing supply and demand with new technology and cleaner energy generation. We want to continue to be at the forefront of this exciting shift towards a decarbonised energy system,” Wright added. 

Earlier this month, petroleum company BP also announced plans to trial a smaller battery project with Tesla at an onshore wind farm in the US.

Photo Credit: Neoen

In a historic decision, the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, has ruled that Central Park will become permanently out of bounds for vehicles.

The decision will come into force on 27 June this year, the day after public schools close for the summer and outdoor swimming pools open.

In 2015, the Mayor first created restrictions on where cars could drive within the park. This latest announcement means the 19th century Olmstead and Vaux areas are now closed as well, closing off all main areas of the park to vehicles.

“Our parks are for people, not cars,” said the Mayor.

“For more than a century, cars have turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway. Today we take it back. We are prioritizing the safety and the health of the millions of parents, children and visitors who flock to Central Park.”

The parks four transverse roadways which cut through the park are unaffected by the change. This is because they were built as fully separate and below park level.

Central Park is an iconic feature of the city, providing New Yorkers with 843 acres of much-needed clean air and green space. It is used by an estimated 42 million visitors each year, but its various drives which loop around the park have been traditionally used as a highway by busy motorists.

Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat in New York State, said the announcement “will protect the crown jewel of New York City parks as a true refuge from the bustle of the city streets, not to mention help reduce carbon emissions.”

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio permanently closed off Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to cars as well. Since taking office in 2014, de Blasio has prioritised environmental concerns within the city, including the decision to sue fossil fuel companies for their part in causing climate change.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is vital not only to avoid dangerous climate change, but if we also want to build cleaner, more prosperous societies.

It has long been known, for example, that tackling climate change can help avoid premature deaths caused by related air pollution.

These so-called “co-benefits” are much discussed within policy and academic circles, highlighting the compelling case to transition to low-carbon and clean economies.

The latest contribution to research on this issue has come from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which modelled the impact of China’s climate policies in the future.

The researchers used an innovative model to measure the impact of different climate scenarios in China, including the country’s own pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4 percent per year before 2030.

The framework looked at how combatting climate change at a provincial level would affect energy usage, the level of air pollutants, emissions and economic activity.

These possible scenarios were mapped with levels of particulate matter and the main population centres within the country. This helped calculate the amount of pollution which is likely to be inhaled given the stringency of each scenario: one that has no climate policy, versus ones which take climate action.

The amount of economic activity was partly estimated on the basis of deaths avoided.

They found that if China sticks to its pledges under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 4 percent it would save an estimated 94,000 lives. And saving these lives would help contribute $339 billion to the economy. These savings are about four times what it would cost to meet China’s climate goals.

“The country could actually come out net positive, just based on the health co-benefits associated with air quality improvements, relative to the cost of a climate policy,” says study co-author Noelle Eckley Selin, an associate professor at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “This is a motivating factor for countries to engage in global climate policy.”

China is heavily reliant on coal-fired power plants to drive its economy and meet its enormous energy demand. Replacing these plants with cleaner alternatives, such as renewables, is seen as the low-hanging fruit to reduce emissions and save lives.

“This is really a sustainability story,” Selin says. “We have all these policy goals for a transition toward a more sustainable society. Mitigating air pollution, a leading cause of death, is one of them, and avoiding dangerous climate change is another. Thinking about how we might inform policy to address these objectives simultaneously, when they actually interact economically and atmospherically, is important to sort out from a science perspective.”

Heavy rain and flooding has caused large scale destruction and displacement in Kenya.

The flooding has hit Mandera country and the town of Dadaab, which is one of the world’s largest refugee camps home to over 235,000 people. The camp was initially established in 1991 as Somalian refugees fled civil war, since 2011 a second influx of refugees have fled drought and famine in Somalia.

Estimates suggest that at least 750 homes have been swept away in the flooding and 4,500 people displaced. Many of the refugees in Dadaab fled their camp and sheltered in nearby schools.

The flooding has also put thousands at risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Caleb Odhiambo, Area Manager of Save the Children’s Dadaab operation commented: “Children are children and they want to play in the water, which is practically toxic. They don’t realise it could be fatal. What’s more, the floodwaters are washing away people’s belongings, livestock and homes, and families are living in open areas without access to shelter or food.”

The flooding follows a severe period of drought in Kenya which severely damaged livelihoods, agriculture and livestock across the Horn of Africa, causing food insecurity for 3.4 million.

Mr Odihiambo noted: “In Dadaab, the refugees feel doomed either way because when there’s a drought, there’s no food and when it rains, there’s disease”

Climate change has worsened the effects of flooding in the area as desertification and deforestation has eroded top soil for crops and trees to grow. Without vegetation to capture soil moisture, heavy rain cannot infiltrate and floods the surface.

“When there are no trees or vegetation to secure the soil’s moisture, heavy rains can be as disastrous as drought. Rather than rainfall being absorbed into the soil to nurture crops, the land simply washes away, taking everything in its path," added Odihiambo

Our sister organisation, Aid & International Development Forum, is hosting its inaugural Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Summit on 15-16th May 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit will discuss innovations and challenges in CSA practices, increasing cross industry collaboration for CSA, financial investment for CSA and much more.

Adam Wentworth, Editor, Climate Action


Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with an estimated 5 million people visiting the island last year. Many visit for the white sands, warm seas, and beautiful scenery.

But Bali also has a problem with waste. A British diver’s recent video of himself swimming through a huge ‘slick’ of plastic went viral. The footage highlighted to a global audience an issue which Melati and Isabel Wijsen know all too well.

As children, the sisters were shocked by the amount of plastic they saw on the island, and the seeming lack of progress towards cleaning it up. In response, they decided to launch the Bye Bye Plastic Bags initiative in 2013. The project has been hugely successful in raising awareness and action on the issue. The girls have worked with the local government on new policies; given speeches at major events around the world; and helped set up 16 teams in different countries to promote similar environmental initiatives.

I recently spoke with Melati on the fifth anniversary of the campaign, and asked if there was a turning point in wanting to tackle the problem.

“It was a lesson in class about world leaders and change-makers, such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Lady Diana,” she says.

“We were 10 and 12 at the time. We went home that day thinking about what we can do as kids that will make a difference?”

“Growing up on an island surrounded by ocean we see the negative impact plastic has - it’s hard not to take action. There's no escaping it here. The plastic problem is so in your face.”

They were undeterred by their young age and instead made an asset of the fact that the movement was ‘driven by children’. Melati says the sisters “didn’t want to wait until we were older to stand up for what we believe in, so we didn’t.”

“Without a business plan, strategy or budget we went ahead with our passions and intention to make the island of Bali plastic bag free.” 

Choosing plastic bags above other waste was the natural cause as it was what most impacted their daily lives. “As we would play in the rice fields or walk on the beach we saw plastic bags clogging the gutters and piling up in the rivers, by the side of the road.”

They also saw it as a problem that they could realistically tackle. In the five years since the campaign launched they have gained a huge amount of attention for their cause, including getting the Governor of Bali to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on reducing plastic bags. But have attitudes changed so far, and have they seen any improvements?

“The attitudes are changing, public awareness is increasing,” she says, but overall there isn’t the infrastructure to tackle the problem at its root. “There is no collection, or island-wide waste management system; therefore, we are still seeing people burn and dump (plastic bags). There isn't a long-term, easy solution.”  

The campaign has instead started its own clean-up operations and educational outreach. Earlier this year, they were able to mobilise 20,000 people to get involved in cleaning up 65 tonnes of plastic waste over a weekend. The year before they collected 40 tonnes of plastic and organic waste.

In a possible response to public pressure on plastics, the Indonesian government has just set strong targets to tackle plastic waste in the country out to 2025. It remains to be seen whether they are serious about change, or whether the new goals are achievable without serious investments in new infrastructure. On this final point, Melati strikes a tone between scepticism and cautiously optimistic.

“For the past five years we have been campaigning to eliminate one piece of plastic item, and still have not managed to see concrete government action towards this goal. So I have my questions when they commit to a reduction of 70 percent of plastic entering oceans within the next seven years.”

“Having said that, it’s a great first step that Indonesia has made these commitments on the international stage. I do believe in their intentions and hope that Bali can lead by example by being the first island in Indonesia to say no to plastic bags.”

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The EU has taken a significant step towards fundamentally changing the way its economy works, shifting towards principles which make an asset out of waste.

Draft laws recently adopted by the EU Parliament in Strasbourg create the tough new standards covering recycling, packaging, and food waste.

The proposals approved by MEPs include targets to recycle at least 55 percent of all waste from households and businesses by 2025, rising to 65 percent by 2035. 70 percent of all packaging materials should be recycled upon use by 2030.

The package of rules, which is still be ratified by the European Council, also caps at 10 percent the amount of municipal waste that can be sent to landfill. This could prove particularly difficult for some EU member states, such as Greece and Croatia, which send more than 75 percent to landfill.

Member states will also be mandated to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Italian MEP Simona Bonafè, who led on the new legislation, said the measures would help embed sustainable thinking within the continent: “The circular economy is not only a waste management policy, but is a way to recover raw materials and not to overstretch the already scarce resources of our planet, also by profoundly innovating our production system.”

“With this package, Europe is firmly committed to sustainable economic and social development, which will at last integrate industrial policies and environmental protection,” she added.

The EU has been working on a new package of circular economy rules since 2015, and separately laid out tough new plastic targets earlier this year. The new strategy aims to make all plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030.

“This package also contains important measures on waste management, but at the same time goes further, by defining rules taking into account the entire life cycle of a product and aims to change the behaviour of businesses and consumers. For the first time, member states will be obliged to follow a single, shared legislative framework,” Bonafè concluded.

Luxury fashion designer Stella McCartney has spoken of the urgent need to transform the fashion industry to become more sustainable.

Talking to the BBC at the launch of a new London exhibition focussing on fashion’s relationship with nature, the designer drew attention to the “medieval” methods used within the industry.

“It’s sadly a bigger issues than anyone really realises. It’s the second most harmful industry to the environment currently on the planet. And it does make perfect sense if you think about how much fashion there is, whether it be luxury or fast…it’s swamping the planet.”

Stella McCartney has built an immensely popular brand and her company operates 55 stores in some of the world’s most expensive shopping districts. Her clothes are also distributed in 77 countries, meaning she is well-placed to make an impact within the fashion world.

“We’ve been relying on an industry that is essential medieval…there is $500 billion worth of waste in the fashion industry every year and that is ridiculous.”

However, she struck a positive note on the opportunities presented by new campaigns and methods which are helping to bring about change.

“It’s a really amazing moment that we are living in as humans for change, on everything, on energy, on architecture. This is really a moment to look to the future for our children.”

Ms McCartney has been working with the Ellen MaCarthur Foundation to publicise the issue of waste within the fashion industry, and to work on new sustainable methods. This includes developing new dyes and silks in the laboratory which are less resource intensive.

A report released by the foundation last year highlighted that if nothing changes the industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. A culture of waste leads to the release of half a million microfibres into the ocean every year, equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles.

Quantifying the size of the global building stock helps in understanding and combatting a variety of social and environmental issues

A new report from analyzes the global building stock from 2017 to 2026 across eight commercial building types and two residential building types for seven regions worldwide.

As global constructions markets continue to rebound after years of stagnant growth, the world’s building stock is experiencing an upswing. Improvements in economic performance in developed and developing countries, as well reasonable wage growth, low interests rates, and elevated consumer confidence in residential construction markets, are expected to encourage further development. : According to a new report from , the global building stock is expected to grow from 162.8 billion square meters in 2017 to 183.5 billion square meters in 2026.

“Over the past year and a half, both developed and developing economies have enjoyed broad expansion not seen in over a decade,” says Tom Machinchick, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Increases in economic activity tend to accompany increases in the building stock as demand for commercial space grows, and rising income enables individuals to opt for larger or more modern living spaces, which will lead to an expanding building stock.”

According to the report, commercial, residential, and industrial buildings are responsible for nearly half of all global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Humans also spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor environments a critical component of health and well-being, productivity, and safety. Quantifying the size of the global building stock can be a fundamental tool for understanding and combatting pressing global issues such as energy consumption, emissions, wealth and poverty rates, climate change, and the impact of urbanization on existing local infrastructure.

The report, , provides data on the size and growth of the global building stock from 2017 to 2026, as well as a qualitative description of key growth drivers and trends. The building stock data covers eight commercial building types (office, retail, education, healthcare, hotels & restaurants, institutional/assembly, warehouse, and transport) and two residential building types (single-family detached and multi-unit residential) for seven regions worldwide. This study is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the total commercial and residential building stock across the world. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the .

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Global Building Stock Database, 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.

The small commercial energy storage segment is expected to experience strong growth in regions where economics and policy provide incentives

A new report from examines the global market for small distributed energy storage systems (SDESSs), providing forecasts segmented by region, technology, and building type, through 2027.

As the market for commercial and industrial behind-the-meter distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) continues to mature, participants are seeing a steady decrease in installed costs, along with a variety of other market drivers. For SDESSs (systems 250 kW or less in size) in particular, savings in the form of tariffs and demand charge reduction, as well as policies favoring energy storage, are pushing the market forward in three main regions. : According to a new report from , North America, Western Europe, and Asia Pacific are expected to account for almost 90 percent of cumulative SDESS capacity between 2018 and 2027.

“The benefits of an onsite energy storage system are often lost on small commercial customers, and educating these customers to deploy SDESSs can be a challenging endeavor,” says William Tokash, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “But vendors are using creative financing mechanisms such as equipment leases and revenue sharing models, coupled with local incentives, to make storage a more realistic option in the small commercial segment.”

During the next decade, energy storage prices are expected to continue a steady decline, while retail electricity rates and supplemental charges are projected to increase and become more common. Combined, these forces are expected to drive large growth in the SDESS market for the next 10 years, however, deployments are still likely to be confined to specific markets where economics and policy are favorable.

The report, , analyzes the global market for SDESSs that are 250 kW or less in size. The study provides an overview of the market developments, drivers, and barriers that are likely to influence the growth of SDESSs. Global market forecasts, segmented by region, technology, and building type, extend through 2027. The report also examines the regional policy trends and business models related to the small commercial energy storage space. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the .

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Market Data: Small Commercial Energy Storage, 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.

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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>> VILLAGE OF MINSTER, OHIO, UNITED STATES 

Using project financing as a yardstick, solar PV continues to lead non-hydro clean energy investment in the region given the abundance of solar resources, its increasing cost-competitiveness and its developing market.

Advanced energy storage refers to the process of storing electricity after converting it into energy.

According to new data from GTM Research, global solar tracker shipments hit a record 14.5 gigawatts in 2017. This represents growth of 32 percent year-over-year.

Solar PV Mounting Systems Market size for 2016 was valued over USD 6 billion and is predicted to witness growth over 6% by 2024.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATORS? 

The IRENAs Cost and Competitiveness Indicators for rooftop solar (IC&CI or “indicators” hereafter) are a series of indicators of solar photovoltaic (PV) costs compared to electricity rates. 

The solar PV market is one of the fastest moving renewable energy markets, with high learning rates of 18% to 22% (for PV modules) combined with rapid deployment resulting in rapidly falling costs (IRENA, 2016). As a consequence, there is a clear need for up-to-date analysis of the evolving competitiveness of solar PV in different markets. 

The IC&CIs are designed to inform government, policy makers, regulators and others about recent trends in the competitiveness of solar PV. The goal of the indicators is to aid decision makers in designing, adopting or sustaining renewable energy policies to support solar PV deployment. The results are based on a simple and transparent analysis of reliable cost and performance data, which are updated on a quarterly basis. The indicators consist of three key components: 

1. PV installed cost trends, 

2. Effective electricity rate when the solar PV system is generating, and 

3. The location-specific levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of the PV system. Notably, the IRENA indicators for rooftop solar PV are not an attempt to identify the direct economic or financial benefits of solar PV in the market segments examined, either for the owner of the solar PV system or for the utility. The detailed data required to accurately assess these values are beyond the scope of this analysis.¹⁷ The indicators are designed instead to show the evolution of the costs of solar PV systems in different markets and to compare these to a proxy of the value of solar PV (on the basis of electricity tariffs) to identify competitiveness. 

First and foremost, the analysis is designed to help inform policy makers about the trends in solar PV competitiveness. As a result, although support policies are discussed for each market, their impact on a system owner’s financial situation is not analysed. The IC&CI are, however, also designed to be a vehicle for examining special topics around solar PV costs and deployment, so these issues may be discussed in future editions of the indicators. 

WHY DEVELOP THESE INDICATORS? 

Commercially available solar PV systems have benefited from almost half a century of development and are today a mature and proven technology. Yet PV costs continue to fall rapidly in some markets. 

PV is one of the fastest growing renewable power generation technologies and has experienced strong progress in cost reduction. PV modules have fallen in price by around 80% since 2010, with somewhat lower percentage reductions in total installed costs at the rooftop and utility-scale levels (IRENA, 2016). A range of studies has confirmed the competitiveness of solar PV in different markets, such as Germany. Yet, there is also a lack of regularly updated analysis in the public domain for important markets. 

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An accurate understanding of the evolution of solar PV competitiveness in different markets is critical to ensuring both efficient and effective support policies. The IC&CI are therefore designed to help fill the significant gap in available analysis, by analysing current cost and performance data. 

To make the analysis as useful as possible to policy makers, the IC&CI use a series of simple indicators. These still require very detailed modelling, however, combined with transparent methodological assumptions and data. This ensures that policy makers have the best possible analysis to allow them to make informed decisions on the role that distributed solar PV can play in their energy system. 

The IC&CI are part of IRENA’s cost analysis programme’s core products and are designed to leverage the data available in the IRENA Renewable Cost Database and other sources. By focusing on analysis that has direct relevance to policy makers (rather than just reporting installed cost trends) and doing so in a timely manner, the indicators are designed to provide IRENA’s Member States and others with timely and useful supporting analysis.

This analysis is particularly topical. Once the LCOE of residential solar PV falls below tariff levels, even in the absence of support measures, installing residential PV systems in order to self-consume PV electricity becomes increasingly attractive. Understanding when this occurs is critical for policy makers and utilities, as small-scale distributed solar PV is a potentially disruptive technology.  

At low levels of penetration, solar PV owners and utilities can benefit from solar PV deployment. Customers can reduce their bills and utilities can enjoy lower distribution losses, deferring investments in distribution capacity and in some cases transmission capacity. As solar PV’s penetration grows, however, the strong economic incentive for individuals or organisations to install solar PV can affect the balance between costs and income in the system and undermine the existing utility model. As such, utilities start to look more closely at the impacts of solar PV on their profitability, and questions about the appropriate market design can become very important. (IRENA, 2017b) 

Understanding these issues well in advance of a market shift will allow policy makers, utilities, regulators and potential solar PV owners to have a balanced debate and analysis of all the direct and indirect costs and benefits of solar PV deployment. They also can understand how the regulatory and support structure needs to adapt to the rise of solar PV, over time. This challenge will only become more pressing as electricity storage costs continue to decline, increasing the potential for self consumption of solar PV generation.

HOW ARE THE INDICATORS CALCULATED?

To ensure that the analysis is as accessible as possible to policy makers, it is based on a simple set of three indicators: 

1. Solar PV installed costs: data for individual systems by country – and in some cases by city – and by market segment (e. g., residential). The analysis is focused on examining trends in installed costs at a relatively granular geographic level (i. e., at the city or state level, where data are available).

2. An indicator of the value of solar PV as measured by mapping the hourly output of the PV system to time-of-use (TOU) tariff rates (if in effect) over the 8 760 hours in a year, assuming an average meteorological year. This is done using freely available modelling software that is specifically adapted to the task. 

3. An analysis of the LCOE of the solar PV systems for comparison with the indicator of electricity value, assuming a 5% cost of capital. This is based on a methodological approach that has been used by IRENA over a number of years.

In all cases, the analysis does not include the impact of policy support. This is because the goal is to inform policy makers about any gaps in the level of competitiveness. Where policy support is in place, the relative economics will be better than that implied by the indicators – sometimes significantly so. 

Despite focusing on a set of simple metrics, the analysis and modelling itself can be very complex. This is because of the very granular analysis of costs, performance and competitiveness undertaken at a city/state level. In addition, the sophisticated modelling required to analyse hourly output over the 8  760 hours in a year, while identifying the associated electricity tariff in force in each of those hours, is also a complex procedure. This identification depends on tariff schedules, location, user demand profile for electricity and other factors. 

The details of the methodology and definitions used in the IC&CI series can be found in Annex 1 and will be available online in subsequent IC&CI updates.

WHICH MARKETS WILL BE COVERED? 

The IC&CI series is being launched with an analysis of residential PV in the markets of California and Germany. 

These markets have been chosen because they provide interesting contrasts in terms of costs and electricity tariff structures for residential consumers. Good time-series data are also available for all the relevant parameters. Future editions of the IC&CI will include other markets but may not have the same granularity, given more challenging data collection issues. 

This first edition provides indicators for the four largest metropolitan areas in California (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and San Bernardino) as well as five cities in Germany (Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich). The locations in California cover the full range of utilities in the state, which has become one of the most important renewable energy markets worldwide. This first edition also provides indicators for Germany, which remains one of the most competitive residential solar PV markets globally. Additional markets will be added in forthcoming editions of the IC&CI.

Eventually, the analysis could be extended to other market segments, such as commercial rooftop systems, but this is not envisaged in the near future, given the resources required to undertake this extension of the IRENA indicators.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are used, as eco-friendly and renewal energy based power generation technologies around the world.

Background

The Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) has recommended a provisional safeguard duty of 70% for 200 days on imports of ‘solar cells whether or not assembled into modules’ from all (except developing) nations. However, duty will be imposed on imports from People’s Republic of China and Malaysia despite being a part of developing countries. The safeguard duty investigation (Custom Tariff – Rule 5) was initiated by the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association (ISMA) which has requested the imposition of safeguard measures for four years with a request for a provisional safeguard duty while the final decision is still awaited.

Key conclusions

The imposition of a safeguard duty will make imported modules 1.5 times costlier than domestic modules (current prices), which will require minimum bid tariffs of Rs 3.6-4.0 per unit.       

Procurement of domestic modules would increase tariffs by Rs 0.4-0.65 per unit (at current prices) from the current ~Rs 2.5 per unit. However, supply-demand dynamics may lead domestic manufacturers to charge a premium on their products, triggering further increase in capital costs.

The duty will increase price competitiveness of domestic modules, with local and foreign manufacturers expected to expand/install capacities over the next one-three years in view of the increased demand opportunity.       

Consequently, bid tariffs may rise in the near term (~Rs 0.4 – 1.5 per unit, depending on the source of modules) which would lower the competitiveness of solar power versus coal-based power. Over the long term, costs may decline again once supply-demand dynamics settle and operational benefits such as economies of scale, cost rationalization etc. accrue to domestic module manufacturers.       

Capacity additions are expected to continue with a temporary blip, if at all. However, future bid tariffs could factor in the increased cost while existing projects hope for an exemption under the ‘change in law clause’.  

Tariffs may rise in the near term

The recommended 70% safeguard duty would increase the landed cost of imported modules from Rs 24.8 per wattpeak (wp) to Rs 42.1 per wattpeak. Considering that China PR and Malaysia are the main exporters of modules with 88% and 7% export share, respectively in fiscal 2017, developers would require minimum bid tariffs of Rs 3.6-4.0 per unit for solar projects constructed on such imported modules to clock an equity internal rate of return (IRR) of 9-12%.

The above-mentioned capital costs do not factor in the 7.5% customs duty plus 10% surcharge.The reclassification of modules has increased duty on imported modules from the zero duty earlier. As a consequence, if both safeguard and custom duties are factored, capital cost based on imported modules (except from exempted countries) will reach Rs 54-55 million per MW, requiring a further increase in tariffs.

Over the next six months, ~6.5 GW of capacities are expected to be tendered, which may see bid tariffs factor in this risk. Further, 3.5 GW of solar projects worth over Rs 120 billion (at the current capital cost) are at risk of lower returns or default, in case the government / electricity commissions do not provide relief via the change in law clause.

If developers bid at tariffs based on domestic modules at current prices, Rs 2.9-3.15 per unit would be required for equity IRR of 9-12%. However, domestic capacity for cells and modules is inadequate to meet the burgeoning domestic solar power demand.

Module supply could switch to domestic market; indigenous module capacities may flourish over the medium term

As the safeguard duty exempts other developing nations, solar project developers and module manufacturers may still import modules and solar cells, respectively from other regions such as Vietnam and Thailand, where several large foreign players have recently expanded. This may help solve, in the interim, the supply-demand deficit. However, pricing and technology would still remain the key monitorable in this regard.

Additionally, with inadequate domestic capacities (6.5 GW of average annual operational capacity versus 8 GW of average annual demand over fiscals 2017 to 2020), manufacturers would position their products at a premium due to demand-supply deficit. This would further increase prices of domestic modules and tariffs in the near term until domestic supply is sufficient and manufacturers benefit from a lower cost of production.

Domestic module manufacturers may charge below the 70% hike on imported modules, but this would depend on the demand-supply dynamics based on factors such as imports from other regions, domestic supply and inventories with both module manufacturers and solar project developers.

Supply deficit of solar cells and modules viz a viz demand from domestic solar capacity additions  Source: CRISIL Research 

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At the cell stage, the installed capacity has always trailed modules, and the capacity utilisation has averaged ~50% for cell manufacturers and ~60% for modules, respectively. Hence, as the safeguard duty would be on solar cells and not solar wafers, the production capacity of solar cells would need to match that of solar modules; otherwise cells would still need to be imported to manufacture modules domestically.

Even if we factor in capacity expansion announcements by domestic players, new capacity and expansion projects would take at least a year for implementation. Hence, domestic capacity expansion would happen over the next one-three years. Players such as Adani, Vikram, Waaree, Tata and BHEL can benefit from the opportunity and strengthen their capacities to meet higher demand.

Additionally, Chinese players such as Longi Solar, Trina Solar etc. have expressed interest in setting up Indian manufacturing units in the past, which would make more economical sense with the duty. Their units in India would also have access to upstream inputs (wafers, polysilicon and silica) from their own facilities elsewhere, as no duty is proposed on these items as of yet. With a lack of indigenous manufacturing capabilities for these inputs, domestic manufactures would have to purchase these, which may still lead to a price differential. 

Solar power to move from being the most competitive power source

Currently, the average solar power tariff is near Rs 2.6 per unit and was expected to stay at Rs 2.5-3.0 per unit in fiscal 2018, considering all factors remained same. This is 20% lower than average coal-based power tariffs across major states and ~40% lower than the last competitively bid thermal auction of June 2015 for Andhra Pradesh’s 2400 MW. However, with the imposition of duty, solar tariffs would close the gap. Despite being lower than thermal, the competitiveness between solar and other REsources such as wind would reduce. However, capacity additions would continue with a minor blip if at all, as players are expected to factor in higher costs going ahead.

Solar power tariffs rise to narrow the differential versus coal and other RE tariffs 

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Note: Coal-based tariff is for the competitively bid auction of June 2015 for Andhra Pradesh’s 2400 MW based on domestic coalSource – CRISIL Research

By,Rahul Prithiani Director, CRISIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Indian Renewable energy sector got a major boost when the Government of India revised the National Solar Mission target of Grid Connected Solar Power projects from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2022, which is the world’s largest Renewable Energy expansion programme.

"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

“A road map has been laid out to set up at least 50 solar parks, each capacity of 500 MW. How do you think the solar parks in India are shaping up?”

Ecoprogetti srl is the leading manufacturer of complete Turnkey Line for module manufacturing.

Growth Opportunities in the Indian PV Market & Requirement of Indian Module Companies

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.

# # #

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/.

# # #

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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