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UK supermarket Morrisons has become the latest retailer to trial a scheme to increase plastic bottle recycling.

Two stores in Skipton and Lindsayfield will now come with vending machines which allow customers to return any plastic bottle and receive store coupons as a reward. Alternatively, they can donate 10p to cancer charity CLIC Sargent, one of Morrisons’ partners.

“We want to play our part in making sure plastic bottles are collected and recycled,” said Andrew Clappen, Morrisons’ group corporate services director.

If successful the trial will be rolled-out to other stores and Morrisons pledged to “listen to customers” on their own views.

The scheme adds to Morrisons’ growing commitments to tackle plastic pollution throughout its stores and within its supply chain. The food retailer, the fourth largest in the UK, has pledged to make all its own-brand plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. This commitment was made as part of a wider campaign, endorsed by over 50 major manufacturers, including Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Tesco.

Morrisons has also stopped buying plastic straws and only buys cottons buds with paper stems instead of plastic ones. The company’s own research has suggested that plastic waste is one of the most important issues to its customers.

The UK Government announced plans earlier this year to introduce a similar scheme across England in a bid to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics.  Iceland was the first supermarket to voluntarily adopt a similar scheme; its vending machines also repay customers with a 10p voucher.

At the time, Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP, commented that: “It is absolutely vital we act now to curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled. Support from businesses will be a vital part of ensuring we leave our environment in a better state than we found it.”

Photo Credit: Billy McCrorie/CC

“Green finance has yet to reach its full potential,” said John Glen MP, the UK’s government’s minister for the City of London.

He was speaking yesterday to an audience of leading policymakers and financiers about the challenges the sector faced from climate change.

“…For too long, tackling climate change has been left to government, with the private sector largely left by the wayside,” he said, while pointing out that the industry is finally gaining a seat at the table.

London is one of the world’s leading centres for green finance and has so far issued 78 green bonds with a combined value of $24 billion. The purpose of the minister’s speech was to reaffirm the government’s commitment to the area and secure London’s place as a leader in the burgeoning market.

“The conversation has been dominated by a few specific areas, such as green bonds. And whilst there will always be a place for them, more lies further afield…in the breadth, and depth of global capital markets.”

He went on to argue that new financial instruments, such as green loans, mortgages and securitisation are gaining traction and the capacity to grow these markets has so far been largely untapped.

Leading institutional investors and pension funds have been slow to respond to the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. However, the market for green bonds has increased by 80 percent in five years and major European insurers have started to move away from the fossil fuel industry.

The momentum behind green finance needs to grow to the point where it becomes part of the mainstream, and simply ‘finance’, Mr Glen concluded.

Last month, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced a new Green Finance Institute to attract more investment in the market. Mr Glen’s speech also announced a new Advisory Board to guide the strategy of the institute.

The Green Finance Summit, only the second time it has taken place, was hosted at London’s Guildhall. Lord Nicholas Stern, also speaking at the conference, said that the green transition was the “growth story of the century” and that governments needed to provide clear and reliable policies to accelerate this transition.

Photo Credit: Green Finance

The EU and China have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing climate change as one the most significant threats to humanity.

Political leaders came together at the 20th EU-China summit, held in Beijing this week, to seek new ways the two major emitters can meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

The joint statement released at the end of the talks dedicates a large section to clean energy and the importance of climate action. It states that the Paris accord is “proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time.”

The two sides also underlined their “highest political commitment” to its effective implementation in all aspects, including adaptation, mitigation and finance. This means forging ahead with new policies and measures which limit the rise in global greenhouse gas emissions and takes immediate action before 2020.

The strong sign of cooperation between the two could be a way of putting political pressure on the United States after its dramatic decision last year to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. World leaders have been at pains to restore confidence in the accord despite the damaging impacts the US’ leaving will cause.

Along with strong words, the EU and China signed two agreements to further cooperation both on emissions trading schemes and the circular economy. China’s carbon market was unveiled late last year, but so far only covers the power sector. Once complete, the scheme will be the largest in the world, covering an estimated 4 billion metric tons of emissions.

President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker commented on the summit: "We have underlined our joint, strong determination to fight climate change and demonstrate global leadership. It shows our commitment to multilateralism and recognises that climate change is a global challenge affecting all countries on earth. There is no time for us to sit back and watch passively. Now is the time for decisive action.”

Photo Credit © European Union, 2018/ Photo: Etienne Ansotte. Li Keqiang, on the right, and Jean-Claude Juncker.

New research has suggested that the rise in sea levels puts vital internet infrastructure at risk.

Analysis from researchers at the University of Oregon and University of Wisconsin-Madison found that more than 1,100 internet hubs in the United States could be under water in the next 15 years. In addition, over 4,000 miles of fibre cables will also be impacted by sea levels.

Coastal cities, such as New York and Miami are most susceptible, but the potential for disruption could be global.

The study took data from the Internet Atlas, which locates where the physical structure of the internet exists. It then overlaid this information with projections of sea level rises, caused by melting polar caps, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ramakrishnan Durairajan, an assistant professor at Oregon, presented the findings to peers at a recent talk in Montreal. He pointed out that the analysis is conservative and designed to get an idea of the potential risks.

“Sea level rise can have other factors — a tsunami, a hurricane, coastal subduction zone earthquakes — all of which could provide additional stresses that could be catastrophic to infrastructure already at risk,” he said.

While the buried fibre optic cables are water resistant, they are not waterproof and will be at greatest risk of incursions from sea water. The academics pointed out that severe disruptions have already been seen with recent extreme weather events. An estimated 10 percent of Manhattan’s network was cut off after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The study’s senior author, Paul Barford, stressed the need to act now to militate against future disruption.

“Most of the damage that’s going to be done in the next 100 years will be done sooner than later…That surprised us. The expectation was that we’d have 50 years to plan for it. We don’t have 50 years,” he said.

Airbus has unveiled plans to manufacture a solar plane which will fly unmanned high above the sky.  

The new Zephyr S plane will be built in the UK and provide surveillance and monitoring services to complement traditional satellites, but at a lower level.

The plane will be able to fly for weeks at a time above weather conditions and conventional air traffic, directly harnessing the sun’s rays to remain aloft.

To date, the Zephyr programme has been in a stage of development and prototypes have clocked up over 1,000 hours of flying time. Its maiden industrial flight took place this week from the US state of Arizona and a landing date has yet to be confirmed.

Sophie Thomas, head of the programme, commented: “Zephyr will bring new see, sense and connect capabilities to both military and commercial customers. Zephyr will provide the potential to revolutionise disaster management, including monitoring the spread of wildfires or oil spills. It provides persistent surveillance, tracing the world’s changing environmental landscape and will be able to provide communications to the most unconnected parts of the world.”

The innovative plane weighs less than 75kg and has a wing span of 25 meters. It will be controlled remotely and fly at heights of 70,000 feet, or 13 miles, above ground.

Commercial scale production of the new solar planes will take place at a facility in Farnborough in the south of England. The site can reportedly make 30 of the planes at a time.

“The Zephyr S aircraft is demonstrably years ahead of any other comparable system and I am beyond proud of the Airbus team for their unrivalled success. Today we have created a new future for stratospheric flight”, said Dirk Hoke, Airbus’ Chief Executive Officer of Defence and Space.

In future, the planes will be launched from a site in Western Australia with flights slated for take-off from September.

Photo Credit: Airbus

Ikea has announced that all its 26 stores in the UK and Ireland will no longer serve single-use plastic straws.

The furniture giant is looking to make the change by October this year and forms part of a wider global transition to ban the straws by 2020.

“The world is changing at a rapid rate and bold, urgent actions are required to meet the sustainability challenges we are facing,” Ikea UK & Ireland country sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen said.

The move is just one plank in Ikea’s ambitious People and Planet Positive strategy, which outlines wholesale changes to the way its business operates. Ikea is looking to incorporate circular economy principles across its entire supply chain, adopting only renewable or recycled materials in all products by 2030.

“Plastic pollution is one critical issue to urgently address for a more sustainable future and is something our customers and co-workers are actively passionate about.

“By responding and acting quickly to remove single-use plastic straws, we hope to fuel the energy behind this movement and empower people to see the hundreds of other small actions we can all take in our daily lives to have a positive impact on the precious world around us, ” Sæbjørnsen added.

Ikea is offering customers sustainable alternatives to reduce the impact of single-use plastics. Recycled plastic packaging, glass and bottles are already in use across its stores. The company was given an environmental award at this year’s World Economic Forum for its extensive work to reduce its carbon footprint.

The multinational has sought to make the transition to clean energy and its latest sustainability report details how it now uses the equivalent of 73 percent renewable energy across its global presence.

A new report has highlighted the challenge of keeping cool in extreme weather.

An analysis of 52 countries in hot climates found that 1.1 billion people face new risks, such as access to safe food and medicines, due to increased global temperatures.

The report, entitled Chilling Prospects, is the first to assess the challenge of keeping cool in an increasingly warm world, released by the non-profit Sustainable Energy For All.

The report estimates that 470 million people in rural areas lack access to electricity and supply chains which keep food and medicines cold. A further 630 million live in urban areas where the electricity provision for cooling services is either intermittent, too expensive, or non-existent.

Of the 52 countries which face cooling risks, nine have the biggest populations: India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, China, Mozambique and Sudan.

“In a world facing continuously rising temperatures, access to cooling is not a luxury – it’s essential for everyday life. It guarantees safe cold supply chains for fresh produce, safe storage of life-saving vaccines, and safe work and housing conditions,” said Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.

A further 2.3 billion people within the lower-middle classes were identified as only able to afford cheaper, and therefore, less efficient cooling technologies. Recent analysis from the International Energy Agency found that global demand for air conditioning units could put climate change targets at risk.

“This Chilling Prospects report is a wake-up call. We must meet these needs in an energy efficient way, and without using ozone damaging substances. If not, the risks to life, health and the planet are significant. But there are equally important business opportunities for those that face up to the challenge and act early,” she added.

The British public want the government to end its de facto ban against onshore wind, according to a poll commissioned by trade body RenewableUK.

66 percent of respondents to a new poll of 3,609 adults said they would like to see onshore wind farms built where it has local support; only 15 percent opposed the proposal.

Current policy excludes onshore wind from competing for Government contracts; the Conservative administration has also created hurdles in the planning process to prevent wind farms from going ahead.

This runs contrary to public opinion, highlighted by the YouGov poll, which favours onshore wind over other infrastructure options. At 23 percent, support is higher for wind farms than railway lines (22 percent), housing (17 percent), and nuclear power (2 percent).

Young people are especially keen on renewable energy, a group which is far less likely to vote Conservative. 60 percent of under 40s felt the government wasn’t doing enough to combat climate change, and a higher amount said investment in renewables was the answer.  

Repeated Government surveys also shows high support for wind turbines, with an average of 68 percent support over six years. Onshore wind has seen dramatic declines in cost in recent years, to the point where it is now the lowest cost form of all new power generation in the UK.

Emma Pinchbeck at RenewableUK, commented: The Government’s policy is massively out of step with public opinion, including the views of Conservative voters. Whether it’s the over-65s, people in rural communities or younger voters who want action on climate change, abandoning the onshore wind ban is popular across the board.

Onshore wind is the UK’s cheapest new power source, bar none, and excluding it from the market means we’ll have to rely on more expensive technologies to meet our future power needs. It’s difficult for voters to square why the Government is bringing in laws to cap energy bills on the one hand, while choosing to further push up costs for bill payers by blocking cheap, new wind power on the other”.

In the UK, the decline of coal power is continuing in dramatic fashion.

1,000 hours have passed in 2018 without the need to draw on Britain’s remaining coal plants. In 2017, the country went 624 hours across the whole year without using coal; in 2016, just 210 hours.

The figure comes from the MyGridGB website, which tracks and compiles official data from the National Grid.

There now remains only eight coal plants in operation, largely in use to support peak energy demand. It’s likely that coal would have been more absent from Britain’s energy mix this year had it not been for the unusually cold conditions at the start of 2018, dubbed the Beast from the East.

Andrew Crossland, an energy analyst which started the project told The Guardian newspaper: “In 2018, Britain saved its coal use for when it needed it most – during the March cold snap.

“Over the rest of the year Britain’s renewable sector has provided record amounts of electricity, with more than 7.4% coming from solar over the past four weeks.”

Coal use has declined by 75 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to analysis from the Carbon Brief website. Overall, this led to 5.3 percent of energy consumption coming from coal last year, a historic low.

Last year, Britain went a full 24 hours without using coal, the first time since the start of the Industrial Revolution. This has since been surpassed by frequent occasions when coal was offline for long stretches of time.

A spokesperson at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy commented: “The UK leads the world in tackling climate change and this shows the time of unabated coal fired electricity is being ended by a cleaner, greener future increasingly powered by renewable energy.”

On current trends, it is likely that the UK will phase-out all unabated coal plants long before the government’s 2025 target.

Source: MyGridGB

Vattenfall has signed one of Europe’s first power purchase agreements involving an offshore wind farm.

The Swedish energy company has finalised a deal for its upcoming Kreigers Flak project in the Baltic Sea to supply energy to two pharmaceutical companies in Denmark.

Once complete in 2021, Kreigers Flak will become Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm with a maximum capacity of 600 megawatts, enough to power around 600 thousand households. It will be located up to 25 miles from shore.

Novo Nordisk and Novozymes have both signed a long-term renewable energy deal with Vattenfall, starting on 1 January 2020. Other offshore wind farms will fill in with supplying power before Kreigers Flak is up and running.

It’s expected that the power needs of the two companies will account for one-fifth of the wind farm’s output.

"Vattenfall is the largest developer of offshore wind power in Denmark. Not least thanks to Kriegers Flak, which will be the biggest. We notice a growing demand from companies to buy exclusively renewable energy. This agreement is a result of this, and we look forward to working with Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, "said Branislav Slavic, Business Sales Nordic at Vattenfall.

Dorethe Nielsen, Head of Corporate Environmental Strategy at Novo Nordisk, said: "The agreement with Vattenfall takes us one step closer to achieving our goal: that all our production facilities around the world should be run with renewable energy by 2020”.
 
Telecoms giant AT&T recently signed a major deal to source a total of 820 megawatts from onshore wind farms in the US. The company joins a host of large corporates which have turned to renewable energy for their power needs. Google has contracts in place to source 3 gigawatts of renewable power to service its data centres and offices in the US.

Photo Credit: Vattenfall

Apple and 10 of its suppliers are teaming up to develop clean energy projects in China.

The company has launched what it is calling a ‘first-of-its-kind investment fund’ to help its suppliers gain access to renewable sources.

The $300 million fund will develop an estimated 1 gigawatt of renewable energy projects within China over the next four years – enough to power 1 million households.

Lisa Jackson, one of Apple’s policy chiefs, and a former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, commented: “At Apple, we are proud to join with companies that are stepping up to address the climate challenge.”

“We’re thrilled so many of our suppliers are participating in the fund and hope this model can be replicated globally to help businesses of all sizes make a significant positive impact on our planet.”

The list of suppliers contributing to the new fund include major companies taken from the manufacturing, electronics, and chemical sectors, among others. These include Solvay, Corning Incorporated, Pegatron, and Wistron.

The fund forms part of a commitment Apple made in 2015 to help its suppliers source clean energy within the manufacturing process. The company has at least 200 global suppliers which provide the nuts and bolts of Apple’s product range, from watches to iPads. So far, 23 suppliers have signed up to the programme.

Apple has led by example in this area and earlier this year managed to hit 100 percent renewable energy across its data centres, offices and retail stores. At the time, CEO Tim Cook said the company was “committed to leaving the world better than we found it”.

“We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”

Photo Credit: Apple

Spain’s transition to a low-carbon economy is making strong progress with almost half of all power now coming from renewable energy.

Fresh data from Red Eléctrica de España, the country’s energy operator, shows that 45.8 percent of all electricity came from renewable sources between January and June.

The new statistics for 2018 highlight a 8.5 percent increase in renewable production compared to the same period last year.

The strong performances of both wind turbines and hydropower provided the bulk of the clean energy: wind provided 27,779 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity during the first six months of the year, representing 22.6 percent of all power. This is a 10 percent rise from last year.

A heavy period of rain, in stark contrast to a dry 2017, helped hydro production reach over 20,000 GWh, equal to 16.9 percent of power. Solar technologies provided 4.6 percent. All low-carbon technologies, including nuclear, pushed the figure to 67.5 percent.

In the past decade, Spain’s amount of installed renewable power has increased by 53 percent, according to Red Eléctrica. The company is working on bringing forward 30,500 megawatts of new capacity to further support the integration of renewables onto the grid, and wean the country off its dependence on fossil fuels.

Similar data was also released this week in Germany where a record 42 percent of its power came from renewables in the first six months of 2018. The UK also saw 30 percent of power from renewables during the first quarter of this year.

Analysts expect the strong upward trajectory for clean power to continue as countries seek to combat climate change and meet their goals under the Paris Agreement. BP’s yearly forecast in February anticipated a 400 percent growth in the market over the next 20 years.

Photo: a wind farm in Cadiz

­­­ Vendors are creating unique partnerships to leverage domain knowledge and amplify existing skill sets

A new report from examines the market for emerging business models for intelligent buildings, providing global market forecasts, segmented by business model type, building type, and region, extending through 2027.

Digitization and analytics have accelerated the evolution of the commercial buildings technologies market. Meanwhile, modern HVAC and building control systems are providing the foundational equipment for the intelligent buildings market with advanced digital technologies and other smart systems. : According to a new report from , the total revenue for emerging business models reshaping the intelligent buildings market is expected to grow to $582 billion in 2027.

“Vendors in the intelligent buildings market are developing business models to grow the market—and their market share—with new value-added services, end-to-end solution offerings, and strategic partnerships,” says Tom Machinchick, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Customers are also playing a role in this market evolution with increased expectations for products and services that add value across the organization, and vendors are responding with diverse solutions that go beyond energy-related benefits to include individualized occupant comfort solutions, enterprise-level business metrics, indoor wayfinding, integrated security solutions, and other services.”

According to the report, partnering strategies are key to expanding the offerings in the commercial intelligent buildings market, because no one vendor has all the capabilities to develop a complete end-to-end solution. Strategic partnerships will empower smaller vendors to enter these markets, leveraging their niche knowledge to amplify existing skill sets and round out a more complete solution.

The report, , examines the opportunities afforded by four business models in the commercial building technologies and intelligent buildings markets, as well as how these fit into scenarios for the emerging Energy Cloud. The study explores the market issues, including the evolution of product-oriented, subscription-based, solutions provider, and network-based business models. Global market forecasts, segmented by business model type, building type, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines the key enabling technologies, future business model opportunities, and ecosystem of value chain stakeholders in the commercial building technologies and intelligent buildings markets. 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, Emerging Business Models for Intelligent Buildings, 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.

In most cases, solar power systems are simpler to install than other energy generation equipment.

Improvements in PCS technology are being driven by leading markets for distributed energy resources

A new report from examines global market forecasts for energy storage power conversion systems (PCS) pricing and annual market size, broken out by segment, component, and region, extending through 2027.

As the global energy storage industry continues to grow and innovate, PCS are emerging as a key technology to facilitate widespread grid integration. This is especially represented in the Asia Pacific region, which is home to the largest and fastest growing markets for energy storage. : According to a new report from , Asia Pacific region is expected to hold 43.2% of the PCS cumulative global market through 2027.

“Although Asia Pacific is expected to control a large global share of the PCS market, North America and Western Europe will also see a high total capacity for new energy storage and large market for PCS revenue,” says Alex Eller, senior research analyst with Navigant. “In addition, a much greater portion of Western Europe’s energy storage capacity is expected to come from distributed systems with higher price points.”

According to the report, leading markets for distributed energy resources (DER) are a large driver of improvements to PCS technology, where regulation is moving to require smart inverters for DER in general. While many PCS are being implemented by companies around the world, several new technological innovations have been introduced to the industry, including smart islanding, backup power, lower costs based on modern materials and designs, and automated backup support.

This Navigant Research report, , explores the market landscape for energy storage PCS and the innovations in technology that will enable the new wave of industry growth. The study provides an analysis of the key market and technology issues and outlines the four segments of the energy storage market: utility-scale, behind-the-meter (BTM) commercial and industrial (C&I), BTM residential, and remote/off-grid. Global market forecasts for PCS pricing and annual market size, broken out by segment, component, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines the major advances in technology related to energy storage PCSs and inverters, as well as the competitive landscape. 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, Innovations in Power Conversion Technology for Grid 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.

The world is investing in renewable sources of energy, spurred by falling photovoltaic prices.

Latest edition of Navigant Research’s Microgrid Deployment Tracker now includes business models for a cross-section of projects initiated between 2015 and 2017

A new report from  presents data on known grid-tied and remote microgrid projects in the proposal, planning, and deployed stages across six geographies and seven microgrid segments.

Since 2Q 2017, tracked microgrid capacity has experienced a boost, particularly in Asia Pacific with 10,204.5 MW developed. North America follows with 7,779.4 MW, yet the region has twice the number of tracked entries in Asia Pacific—1,105. : According to a new report from , as of 2Q 2018, 2,134 microgrid project entries have been identified, representing 24.98 GW of operating, under development, and proposed microgrid capacity and 239 new entries.

“While Asia Pacific and North America still account for almost three-quarters of all microgrid capacity in the Tracker, Latin America boasted the largest addition of microgrid capacity in this update with 363.5 MW added—a significant shift from the previous edition,” said Johnathon de Villier, research analyst with Navigant Research. “And for the first time, the Tracker includes the core business models—energy as a service, government financing, owner financing, utility rate base, and other—for a selection of projects deployed between 2015 and 2017.”

According to the report, other key trends include a strong growth in the remote segment and a quickly shrinking gap between solar PV and diesel capacities. Solar PV added 111 project entries and 475 MW of capacity to diesel’s 45 entries and 544 MW.

This Navigant Research report, , tracks data on known grid-tied and remote microgrid projects in the proposal, planning, and deployed stages in six geographies. The report covers seven microgrid segments: C&I, community, utility distribution, institutional/campus, military, remote, and direct current (DC) systems. Information is provided on capacity and project numbers by distributed generation type, operational and under development/proposed status, top 10 countries, and top 10 US states. The Tracker also segments projects currently known to be on hold, as well as operational, under development, and proposed projects. 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, Microgrid Deployment Tracker 2Q18, 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 anticipated growth of this market is dependent on the emergence of flexible contracting mechanisms

A new report from examines the global market for corporate buyers’ procurement of renewable energy from utility-scale, offsite renewable energy (ORE) projects through 2027.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many large multinational corporations, universities, and municipalities, referred to a­s corporate buyers, are going beyond installing onsite renewable energy systems and engaging in innovative transaction models to procure renewable energy from utility-scale offsite renewable energy (ORE) projects. These models can help corporate buyers meet sustainability and energy spend reduction goals while reducing power market risks for project developers and independent power producers (IPPs). : According to a new report from , the global market for corporate, utility-scale ORE procurement is expected to reach $15.6 billion by 2027.

“Renewable energy project developers and IPPs are increasingly required to compete with traditional electricity generation sources, and the resulting uncertainties in long-term income streams will affect the bankability of renewable energy projects,” said William Tokash, senior research analyst with Navigant. “These new renewable energy transaction models will not only help corporate buyers meet their sustainability and energy spend reduction goals, but will over time will help mitigate project bankability risks for project developers and IPPs.”

Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest region for utility-scale ORE procurement, where annual power capacity and revenue are forecast to reach 9.2 GW and $7.9 billion by 2027. The second largest region is projected to be North America, which is expected to reach 2.7 GW and $3.1 billion in 2027. The anticipated growth of these markets is dependent on the emergence of flexible contracting mechanisms that allow for the creditworthy benefits of a corporate buyer to be recognized by project developers and IPPs.

This Navigant Research report, , analyzes the global market for corporate utility-scale ORE procurement solutions. The study examines the key drivers, barriers, and transaction models related to corporate buyers’ procurement of renewable energy from utility-scale ORE projects. Four transaction models are covered: virtual (physical) power purchase agreements (PPAs), virtual (financial) PPAs (also known as contracts for difference, or CFDs), green direct access tariffs, and community renewables. Global market forecasts for power capacity and revenue, segmented by generation type (solar PV and wind), transaction model, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines the regional market landscapes, future market developments, and trends for the procurement of renewable energy from utility-scale ORE by corporate buyers.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Corporate Utility-Scale Offsite Renewable Energy Procurement Solutions, 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.

Uptake remains limited in Eastern Europe, Latin American, and the Middle East & Africa, report finds

July 10, 2018 – Boulder, CO – A new report from analyzes the state of global utility electric smart meter market, tracking data related to customer endpoints, meter manufacturers, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications vendors, systems integrators, and meter data management (MDM) vendors.

In Asia Pacific, the smart meter market has seen limited activity since Navigant’s 2017 report, with a subset of the region’s major countries including Japan and Korea engaging in large-scale projects while others show limited to no activity. China is now moving toward second-generation smart metering, while high volume deployments continue across Japan and South Korea. Although India’s smart meter program has been slow to develop, the emergence of multimillion-meter tenders is helping to drive volumes in this critical market. : According to a new report from , China continues to lead the global smart meter market through 1Q 2018 with upwards of 496 million meters installed, accounting for 68.4 percent of tracked installations.

“As expected, China’s State Grid Corporation of China has nearly concluded its nationwide smart meter rollout in 2018 in the midst of Southern Power Grid’s push toward higher deployment levels,” says Michael Kelly, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Since the release of our previous report, the North American smart meter market has seen a handful of new project announcements, meanwhile in Europe, large and small-scale smart electric meter deployments have already been achieved, with activity remaining high as national rollouts continue.”

According to the report, in Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East & Africa, disparate small and mid-scale AMI deployments continue to propagate, while others face barriers to entry inhibited by financial constraints.

This Navigant Research report, , provides an analysis of global utility smart meter projects. It tracks data related to global customer endpoints, meter manufacturers, AMI communications vendors, systems integrators, and MDM vendors. The Tracker also includes an examination of the technologies, timeframes, and vendor selections for AMI deployments around the world, as well as vendor selection share analysis for North America.

 Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report Global AMI Tracker 2Q18, 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 merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the second quarter and first half of 2018. Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) in the first half (1H) of 2018 was up with $5.3 billion raised compared to the $4.6 billion raised in 1H 2017, a 15 percent increase year-over-year (YoY). 

Corporate funding increased in Q2 2018 with $2.8 billion in 34 deals compared to the $2.5 billion in 44 deals in Q1 2018. Year-over-year funding in Q2 2018 was about 102 percent higher compared to the $1.4 billion in Q2 2017.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ22018

 “The first half of 2018 has been a roller-coaster for the solar industry marked by uncertainty due to Trump tariffs followed by the recent Chinese subsidy pullback,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Though financial activity was better compared to the same period last year, the market is still sorting out the winners and losers that would come out of a potential slowdown in Chinese demand, which is expected to result in an oversupply situation and eventual price crash in components across the globe.”

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector in 1H 2018 was 36 percent lower with $458 million compared to the $716 million raised in the first half of 2017. 

In Q2 2018, VC funding for the solar sector increased to $298 million in 12 deals compared to $161 million in 22 deals in Q1 2018. The funding amount was 133 percent higher YoY compared to the $128 million raised in 23 deals in Q2 2017. 

Top VC deals in 1H 2018 included: $112 million raised by Wunder Capital, $100 million raised by Sunnova, $55 million secured by Off-grid Electric, Sunlight Financials’ $50 million, $25 million raised by d.light design, and the $23 million raise by Solaria. A total of 42 VC investors participated in solar funding in 1H 2018.

Solar public market funding in 1H 2018 was higher compared to the first half of 2017 with $1.25 billion raised in 12 deals compared to $934 million in 19 deals in 1H 2017, a 33 percent increase. Public market financing into the solar sector rose to $1.1 billion in eight deals in Q2 2018 compared to just $103 million in four deals in Q1 2018, and $473 million raised in six deals during Q2 2017. 

Announced debt financing activity in the first half of 2018 ($3.6 billion in 32 deals) was 22 percent higher compared to the first half of 2017 when $3 billion was raised in 33 deals. Most of that increase was due to two securitization deals: Vivint solar raised $466 million through asset back notes and Dividend Finance secured $105 million in a similar deal. 

Large-scale project funding in the first half of 2018 saw $7.96 billion announced for 98 projects compared to 1H 2017 when a record $7.4 billion was raised in 81 project funding deals.

Announced residential and commercial solar funds totaled $625 million in 1H 2018 compared to $1.8 billion in the same period of 2017.

In 1H 2018 there were a total of 46 solar M&A transactions, compared to 41 transactions in 1H 2017. There were 27 solar M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there were 19 solar M&A transactions in Q1 2018 and 12 transactions in Q2 2017. Of the 27 total transactions in Q2, 16 involved solar downstream companies, six involved PV manufacturers, three were equipment manufacturers, and two involved BoS companies.

There were 117 large-scale project acquisitions in 1H 2018 totaling 11.6 GW compared to 101 project acquisitions totaling 10.9 GW in the first half of 2017.

Investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers in 1H 2018, picking up projects totaling 4 GW.

There were 269 companies and investors covered in this report. It is 78 pages in length and contains 78 charts, graphs, and tables.

 To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ22018

 

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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As the intelligent buildings market evolves, the advanced sensors and electric submeters market will become more multifunctional and cost-effective

A new report from examines the global market for advanced sensors and electric submeters, providing global market forecasts segmented by product, building type, and region, through 2027.

Advanced sensors and submeters provide the data streams that can be used by building data analytics and software to translate data into actionable information for building performance improvement. Therefore, investment in these devices facilitates the development of more holistic energy management and enterprise integration strategies. In addition, technology trends such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and the adoption of mobile devices are expanding the business case for investment in advanced sensors and electric submeters. : According to a new report from , global revenue from advanced sensors and electric submeters could grow to $6.1 billion in 2027.

“Intelligent building solutions enabling the translation of granular data into actionable insight are gaining traction around the world. Therefore, sensors and submeters that feed data into the system have a pivotal role to play in the intelligent buildings market,” says Christina Sookyung Jung, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Insights from this sort of data-rich facility support stakeholders across the organization—from occupants and facility management and to the C-suite.”

The advanced sensors and electric submeters market is poised for steady growth in the next decade as intelligent building solutions gain deeper market penetration across customer segments and geographies. Navigant Research expects that global revenue from advanced sensors and electric submeters will grow from $2.7 billion in 2018 to $6.1 billion in 2027 at 9.4% CAGR, and the Middle East & Africa is expected to grow the fastest with a 12.2% CAGR.

This Navigant Research report, , analyzes the global market for advanced sensors and electric submeters that support the development of intelligent buildings. The study examines seven product types: electric submeters and occupancy, photo, CO2, humidity, temperature, and multifunctional sensors. Global market forecasts, segmented by product and building type and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines how advanced sensors and electric submeters deliver business value through intelligent building solutions and provides recommendations to support global customer adoption of the devices.

Contact: Ellie Stutts

+1.202.973.3249

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Market Data: Advanced Sensors and Electric Submeters, 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.

As the intelligent buildings market evolves, the advanced sensors and electric submeters market will become more multifunctional and cost-effective

A new report from examines the global market for advanced sensors and electric submeters, providing global market forecasts segmented by product, building type, and region, through 2027.

Advanced sensors and submeters provide the data streams that can be used by building data analytics and software to translate data into actionable information for building performance improvement. Therefore, investment in these devices facilitates the development of more holistic energy management and enterprise integration strategies. In addition, technology trends such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and the adoption of mobile devices are expanding the business case for investment in advanced sensors and electric submeters. : According to a new report from , global revenue from advanced sensors and electric submeters could grow to $6.1 billion in 2027.

“Intelligent building solutions enabling the translation of granular data into actionable insight are gaining traction around the world. Therefore, sensors and submeters that feed data into the system have a pivotal role to play in the intelligent buildings market,” says Christina Sookyung Jung, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Insights from this sort of data-rich facility support stakeholders across the organization—from occupants and facility management and to the C-suite.”

The advanced sensors and electric submeters market is poised for steady growth in the next decade as intelligent building solutions gain deeper market penetration across customer segments and geographies. Navigant Research expects that global revenue from advanced sensors and electric submeters will grow from $2.7 billion in 2018 to $6.1 billion in 2027 at 9.4% CAGR, and the Middle East & Africa is expected to grow the fastest with a 12.2% CAGR.

This Navigant Research report, , analyzes the global market for advanced sensors and electric submeters that support the development of intelligent buildings. The study examines seven product types: electric submeters and occupancy, photo, CO2, humidity, temperature, and multifunctional sensors. Global market forecasts, segmented by product and building type and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines how advanced sensors and electric submeters deliver business value through intelligent building solutions and provides recommendations to support global customer adoption of the devices.

Contact: Ellie Stutts

+1.202.973.3249

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Market Data: Advanced Sensors and Electric Submeters, 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.

Utilities should embrace IoT analytics solutions even though the solutions have yet to mature

A new report from examines the global market for Internet of Things (IoT) analytics solutions for utilities, key market conditions, challenges faced by stakeholders, technology issues, and regional adoption trends, providing global market forecasts, segmented by region, spending segment, and application, through 2028.

The utilities industry is attempting to leverage a plethora of generating assets, transmission and distribution system equipment, and smart meters connected to the grid, creating large amounts of data. However, the IoT has invaded their space. Legacy IoT analytics solutions, software tools, and control systems used to analyze data and keep electricity flowing are becoming outdated with the emergence of cloud computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). : A new report shows global revenue from the IoT and analytics for utilities market is expected to grow to more than $5.1 billion in 2028.

“Many of the tools are outdated, sit in silos, and were never designed for the complexities of today’s smart grid,” says Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “More advanced utility IoT analytics solutions have entered the market and can be applied to legacy systems and new data flows using edge computing, cloud computing, machine learning, and AI to unlock valuable insights and drive operational efficiencies.”

According to the report, utilities should embrace IoT analytics solutions even though the solutions have yet to fully mature, as they can help cut costs while demand is flat or declining. With IoT technologies, disparate systems can also operate on the internet and integrate data for enhanced business value. In addition, advanced analytics are needed as more distributed energy resources, like solar PV, come online and create two-way energy flows on a grid that was not designed that way.

This Navigant Research report, ,  provides answers for utility operators and managers looking to adopt IoT analytics solutions. The study includes a discussion of key market conditions, challenges faced by stakeholders, technology issues, and regional adoption trends. Global market forecasts, segmented by region, spending segment, and application, extend through 2028. The report also provides pointed recommendations and steps stakeholders should take to harness the data from connected grid assets to drive valuable insights and outcomes.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, IoT and Analytics for Utilities Market Overview, 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 Jurong Port in Singapore completed a SGD 30 million (USD 22.4 million) installation of solar panels on its warehouse rooftop in 2016, making it the then-largest port-based solar PV facility in the world. The facility has a peak capacity of 9.5 MW and is estimated to generate more than 12 MWhof solar energy per year, providing more than 60% of the port’s annual electricity needs.

Global new investment in renewable power and fuels (not including hydropower projects larger than 50 megawatts (MW)) totalled USD 279.8 billion in 2017, as estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)i. This represents an increase of 2% compared to the previous year, even as the costs of wind and solar power technologies fell further. Investment in renewable power and fuels has exceeded USD 200 billion annually since 2010. (→ See Figure 1) Investment in hydropower projects larger than 50 MW was an estimated additional USD 45 billion in 2017.

“Global new investment in renewable power and fuels reached in 2017”

These estimates do not include investment in renewable heating and cooling technologies, for which data are not collected comprehensively. The International Energy Agency. reports that global investment in solar thermal heating technologies increased steadily until 2013 but then fell each year through 2016 (latest data available).

Investment in new renewable power capacity (including all hydropower) was three times the level of investment in fossil fuel generating capacity and more than double the investment in fossil fuel and nuclear capacity combined.

Note: Figure does not include investment in hydropower projects larger than 50 MW. Investment totals have been rounded to nearest billion and are in current USD.Note: Figure does not include investment in hydropower projects larger than 50 MW. Investment totals have been rounded to nearest billion and are in current USD.Source: BNEF.

Investment in renewable energy continued to focus on solar power, particularly solar photovoltaics, which increased its lead over wind power in 2017. Asset finance of utility-scalev projects, such as wind farms and solar parks, dominated investment at USD 216.1 billion worldwide. Small-scale solar PV installations (less than 1 MW) accounted for USD 49.4 billion, representing an increase of 15%.

 

“Developing countries extended their lead over developed countries in 2017, with of global investment in renewable energy.”

Renewable energy investment in developed countries as a group fell 19% in 2017. Investment decreased in the two developed-country front-runners, the United States and Japan, as well as in the leading European countries, Germany and the United Kingdom. Among developing and emerging countries, renewable energy investment increased 20%, to USD 177 billion.

China played a dominant role, investing USD 126.6 billion,its highest figure ever. Substantial increases in developing countries were witnessed in Mexico, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Argentina.

INVESTMENT BY ECONOMY

Developing and emerging economies overtook developed countries in renewable energy investment for the first time in 2015; they extended their lead in 2017, accounting for a record 63% of global investment in renewable energy, due largely to China. Developments in renewable energy investment varied by regioni, rising in China, Latin America (including Brazil) and the Middle East and Africa, and falling in Europe, the United States, Asia-Oceania (excluding China), Japan and India.

“China accounted for a record of all financing in renewable energy”

Considering all financing of renewable energy (but excluding hydropower larger than 50 MW), China accounted for a record 45% of the global investment total, up from 35% in 2016. China was followed by Europe (15%), the United States (14%) and Asia-Oceania (excluding China and India; 11%). Smaller shares were seen in the Americas (excluding Brazil and the United States, 5%), India (4%), the Middle East and Africa (4%) and Brazil (2%).

The top 10 national investors consisted of four developing or emerging countries and six developed countries. In addition to China and the United States, top countries included Japan, India and Germany. The next five countries were Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico and Sweden.

China’s investment in renewable power and fuels reached a record USD 126.6 billion in 2017, up 31% over 2016. Most of this total (USD 103.3 billion) was in asset finance, which increased 14% relative to 2016. In 2016, China invested roughly the same amount in solar and wind power; however, in 2017 the country experienced a boom in overall solar power investment, up 58% to USD 86.5 billion, whereas total investment in wind power declined by 6%.

Utility-scale solar power arrays of more than 1 MW accounted for most of China’s solar power total, while the country’s investment in small-scale solar PV project development increased nearly five-fold. By comparison, China’s total investment in wind power was USD 36.1 billion; investment in onshore wind power was down 28%, while offshore wind power increased 180% to USD 10.8 billion. China also invested significant sums in large-scale hydropowerii, commissioning 7.3 gigawatts in 2017, a large portion of which was projects larger than 50 MW.

image

Note: Data are in current USD and include government and corporate R&D. Source: BNEF.

 

Investment in Europe totalled USD 40.9 billion in 2017, a significant drop (36%) from 2016. Asset finance accounted for 74% of the region’s investment, at USD 30.4 billion, of which USD 26.7 billion was invested in wind power and USD 2.8 billion was invested in solar power. Small-scale distributed capacity in Europe fell sharply in 2017, to USD 6.6 billion, due in part to a significant reduction (by more than half) in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom – Europe’s largest national investor in renewable energy in 2016 – saw total investment fall 65% to USD 7.6 billion. This decline reflected an end of subsidies for onshore wind and utility-scale solar power and a substantial gap in time between auctions for offshore wind power projects. Germany took over as the largest European investor at USD 10.4 billion, despite a 35% reduction from 2016. Germany’s investment decline reflected investors’ uncertainty as the country shifts away from feed-in tariffs to auctions for all technologies. Although Europe’s two biggest markets saw reductions in 2017, investment increased in several other countries in the region, including Sweden (up 127% to USD 3.7 billion), the Netherlands (up 52% to USD 1.8 billion) and Greece (up 287% to USD 0.8 billion).

The United States remained the largest individual investor among developed economies, with a total of USD 40.5 billion in 2017, a decrease of 6% compared to 2016. Utility-scale asset finance remained stable, at USD 29.3 billion, with wind power accounting for the majority (67%). Although small distributed capacity (rooftop and other solar power systems of less than 1 MW) also attracted significant sums, the total of USD 8.9 billion was down 12% from 2016, due in part to a restructuring of the market. Investment in US public markets fell again in 2017, to USD 1.0 billion, from a high of USD 8.9 billion in 2015.

In Asia-Oceania (excluding China and India) investment fell 12% to USD 31.4 billion – the lowest amount since 2013, due largely to a decline in Japan. Japan’s investment continued to fall in 2017, down 28% from 2016 to USD 13.4 billion. Investment was hampered by uncertainties related to grid connection and to a shift in policy from a generous feed-in tariff (FIT) to tendering for projects larger than 2 MW. Investment in both solar and wind power declined in 2017, whereas investment in biomass increased 120%, due in part to a shift towards biomass on the part of some solar power developers as well as to a looming FIT reduction.

Other markets in the region with decreases included Thailand (down 72% to USD 700 million), Chinese Taipei (down 10% to USD 600 million) and the Philippines (down 77% to USD 300 million). However, some countries saw noteworthy increases in investment, including Indonesia (up 67% to USD 1.0 billion) and Pakistan (up 42% to USD 700 million). The modest renewable energy investment figures in the region resulted largely from policy uncertainty, particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Investment in India declined 20% compared to 2016, to a total of USD 10.9 billion. Approximately USD 6.7 billion was invested in new solar power capacity (up 3%), and USD 4 billion was invested in wind power during 2017 (down 41%).

In the Americas (beyond Brazil and the United States) investment totalled USD 13.4 billion (up 124%). Investment in both Mexico and Argentina jumped roughly nine-fold, to USD 6 billion and USD 1.8 billion, respectively. Other countries in the region saw smaller increases. For example, investment was up in Chile (up 55% to USD 1.5 billion), Peru (up 66% to USD 300 million) and Costa Rica (up 31% to USD 300 million).

Brazil’s total investment was USD 6 billion, an increase of 8% from 2016, but this was far below the peak total of USD 11.5 billion in 2008, when the global biofuels boom was still in full swing. Most of Brazil's 2017 investment was in wind power, at USD 3.6 billion (down 18% from 2016), and in solar power, which rose 204% to USD 1 billion.

Investment in the Middle East and Africa combined increased 11% in 2017, to USD 10.1 billion, with substantial increases in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Investment leapt nearly six-fold in Egypt, to USD 2.6 billion, and 29-fold in the United Arab Emirates, to USD 2.2 billion. In Jordan, investment rose 26% to a record USD 1.1 billion. At the same time, however, South Africa continued to experience a decline, with investment down to USD 102 million in 2017 from a high of USD 5.6 billion in 2012. Financing in Morocco also fell relative to 2016 (down 48% to USD 200 million).

i Regions presented in this chapter reflect those presented in UN Environment’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 (Frankfurt: 2017), and differ from the regional definitions across the rest of the GSR

ii The Chinese government estimates that hydropower facilities of all sizes completed in 2017 represent an investment of CNY 61.8 billion (USD 9.8 billion), from China National Energy Administration, ”National electric power industry statistics in 2017, 22 January 2018

INVESTMENT BY TECHNOLOGY

New investment in renewable energy in 2017 continued to be dominated by solar PV and wind power, accounting for roughly 57% and 38%, respectively. Solar power was the only technology to witness an increase in 2017, with new investment up 18% relative to 2016, to USD 161 billion.

Investment in all other technologies was down in 2017. The most substantial declines in dollar value were seen in wind power (down 12% to USD 107 billion), in biomass/waste-to-energy (down 36% to USD 4.7 billion) and in geothermal power (down 34% to USD 1.6 billion). Investment in biofuels declined 3% to USD 2.0 billion.

Note: Total values include estimates for undisclosed deals as well as estimates for small distributed capacity and corporate and government R&D.

Source: BNEF.

In 2016, emerging and developing economies maintained a narrow lead in solar power investment and fell behind developed economies in wind power investment. In 2017, however, due primarily to China, these countries accounted for the bulk of solar power investment and recovered a small lead in wind power investment. Solar power investment declined 17% in developed countries (to USD 45.4 billion), while it increased 41% in developing countries (to USD 115.4 billion). Investment in wind power declined during 2017 in developed countries (down 19% to USD 52.4 billion) and in developing countries (down 4% to USD 54.8 billion).

Large-scale hydropower projects over 50 MW in size represented the third most important sector (after solar and wind power) for renewable energy investment in 2017. Translating hydropower capacity additions into asset finance dollars per year is not straightforward because the average project takes four years to build. Although BNEF does not track detailed statistics for large-scale hydropower projects, it estimates that asset financing for large-scale hydropower projects reaching financial go-ahead in 2017 totalled around USD 45 billion, up 108% from 2016.

Mr Vikash Vohra

Director - Sales & Marketing

SAPA



Challenges faced by company while managing supply chain?

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

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

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

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

Implementing TQM to maintain quality of the product?

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

How can companies ensure better quality management while manufacturing?

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

Quality is the standard of the organization.

 

Mr. Bhavesh Modi,

Director,

Sanelite

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

Mr. Manik Garg,

Director,

Saatvik Green Energy



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

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

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

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

How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?

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

TRENDS - STRUCTURE AND TRACKER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STORAGE AND SMART SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES

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

Pg18 Perspective Sujoy Ghosh Country Head First Solar India

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

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

Pg18 George John mytrah

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

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

Pg17 Perspective SIndicatum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impact Of GST On Solar Sector

Key Driving factors for falling bids in india

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the second quarter and first half of 2018. Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) in the first half (1H) of 2018 was up with $5.3 billion raised compared to the $4.6 billion raised in 1H 2017, a 15 percent increase year-over-year (YoY). 

Corporate funding increased in Q2 2018 with $2.8 billion in 34 deals compared to the $2.5 billion in 44 deals in Q1 2018. Year-over-year funding in Q2 2018 was about 102 percent higher compared to the $1.4 billion in Q2 2017.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ22018

 “The first half of 2018 has been a roller-coaster for the solar industry marked by uncertainty due to Trump tariffs followed by the recent Chinese subsidy pullback,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Though financial activity was better compared to the same period last year, the market is still sorting out the winners and losers that would come out of a potential slowdown in Chinese demand, which is expected to result in an oversupply situation and eventual price crash in components across the globe.”

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector in 1H 2018 was 36 percent lower with $458 million compared to the $716 million raised in the first half of 2017. 

In Q2 2018, VC funding for the solar sector increased to $298 million in 12 deals compared to $161 million in 22 deals in Q1 2018. The funding amount was 133 percent higher YoY compared to the $128 million raised in 23 deals in Q2 2017. 

Top VC deals in 1H 2018 included: $112 million raised by Wunder Capital, $100 million raised by Sunnova, $55 million secured by Off-grid Electric, Sunlight Financials’ $50 million, $25 million raised by d.light design, and the $23 million raise by Solaria. A total of 42 VC investors participated in solar funding in 1H 2018.

Solar public market funding in 1H 2018 was higher compared to the first half of 2017 with $1.25 billion raised in 12 deals compared to $934 million in 19 deals in 1H 2017, a 33 percent increase. Public market financing into the solar sector rose to $1.1 billion in eight deals in Q2 2018 compared to just $103 million in four deals in Q1 2018, and $473 million raised in six deals during Q2 2017. 

Announced debt financing activity in the first half of 2018 ($3.6 billion in 32 deals) was 22 percent higher compared to the first half of 2017 when $3 billion was raised in 33 deals. Most of that increase was due to two securitization deals: Vivint solar raised $466 million through asset back notes and Dividend Finance secured $105 million in a similar deal. 

Large-scale project funding in the first half of 2018 saw $7.96 billion announced for 98 projects compared to 1H 2017 when a record $7.4 billion was raised in 81 project funding deals.

Announced residential and commercial solar funds totaled $625 million in 1H 2018 compared to $1.8 billion in the same period of 2017.

In 1H 2018 there were a total of 46 solar M&A transactions, compared to 41 transactions in 1H 2017. There were 27 solar M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there were 19 solar M&A transactions in Q1 2018 and 12 transactions in Q2 2017. Of the 27 total transactions in Q2, 16 involved solar downstream companies, six involved PV manufacturers, three were equipment manufacturers, and two involved BoS companies.

There were 117 large-scale project acquisitions in 1H 2018 totaling 11.6 GW compared to 101 project acquisitions totaling 10.9 GW in the first half of 2017.

Investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers in 1H 2018, picking up projects totaling 4 GW.

There were 269 companies and investors covered in this report. It is 78 pages in length and contains 78 charts, graphs, and tables.

 To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ22018

 

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

The prices attained in recent auctions are influenced by several factors

The importance of quality infrastructure across the solar value chain

Various Instruments For India’s Clean Energy Support Measures 

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Credits: IRENA REMap India Paper 2017

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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VALUE CREATION IN THE PHOTOVOLTAIC SECTOR

Auctions in the power sector

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