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On Sunday, over 40,000 runners will pound the streets of London in what will be one of the hottest marathons during the event’s 37 year history.

This means the 26.2 mile run will be even more of a thirst-quenching, endurance test than normal with a huge number of drinks bottles and cups distributed to exhausted participants.

Each year, the event goes through hundreds of thousands of bottles, which are liberally distributed to runners as they pass the many drinks stations along the route. The issue of waste and recycling couldn’t be more visible during this incredibly popular event, and organisers are trying to address the problem.

Sunday’s marathon will for the first time trial the use of 90,000 compostable cups along three drink stations as an alternative to using single-use plastic. This is along with 760,000 plastic bottles also available to runners, according to the BBC.

The organisers endeavour to recycle all plastic used, although as the run goes through various London boroughs it can be difficult to organise a unified clean-up operation. A spokesperson told BBC Radio 5 live that using recyclable plastic bottles remains “the best solution for the distribution of water and sports drinks to the more than 40,000 runners, given the very short window of road closures in one of the world's busiest capital cities."

Mike Childs, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, commented: "the compostable water cups being trialled have the potential to lessen the amount of plastic waste created by the marathon, but there are challenges when it comes to the correct collection and processing of these to ensure they have their full impact".

Photo Credit: Malcolm Murdoch

Earth Day 2018 is here and will celebrated on Sunday (22 April) around the world.

The event is almost 50 years old having first started in the US on 22 April 1970. At that time, millions of people protested against environmental damage caused by decades of industrial development.

Its pioneering work spawned an entire environmental movement and laws to safeguard nature. From its initial successes, the network has grown to unite 50,000 partners in 192 countries, and now engages an estimated one billion people around the world.

This landmark event has always turned its attention to some of the most pressing issues of the day, from climate change to deforestation. Earth Day 2016 was chosen as the date to sign the now historic Paris climate agreement.

This year, Earth Day is focusing on plastic pollution. Publicity around the problem has been growing in recent years, and public awareness has grown hugely.

It seems a day doesn’t go by without major corporations and governments making pledges to reduce and eradicate plastic waste.

Earth Day 2018 wants to encourage people to learn more about single-use plastics and make a pledge to reduce our usage.

The Earth Day Network has set up a plastic calculator where you can work out how much you use and how to make simple changes to prevent waste.

Some of the facts are mind-boggling, Greenpeace estimates 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans, an average of one truck load per minute. And this material will negatively impact wildlife for hundreds of years.

Kathleen Rogers, the Earth Day Network’s President has this to say about the issue: “From poisoning and injuring marine life to the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our food to disrupting human hormones and causing major life-threatening diseases and early puberty, the exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet’s survival”.

Learn more about how you can get involved here.

#EarthDay2018 #EndPlasticPollution

HSBC, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, has made new commitments to stop financing the most carbon intensive energy projects.

The bank released an updated energy policy statement this week that explicitly rules out funding new coal-fired power stations around the world, except for three countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In these countries, funding will be provided in exceptional cases, and only until 2023, “if no reasonable energy alternative can be found”.

The bank has already made a commitment, in force since 2011, to stop financing coal in the developed world, which has extended to 78 countries. This forms part of its overall plan to shift its resources towards sustainable investments for the long-term.

Daniel Klier, Global Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC, said: “Our updated energy policy reflects HSBC’s ambition to help our customers make the transition to a low-carbon economy in a responsible and sustainable way.

“We recognise the need to reduce emissions rapidly to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees Celsius and our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate.”

The new policy also stops financing to new offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic and restricts oil sands support to customers “which are diversified, with appropriate plans to transition to a low-carbon economy, and we will not support new greenfield projects”.

This has been taken by some environmentalists to mean a ban on funding the controversial Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States. The planned project, stretching 1,179 miles from the oil sands in Alberta to Nebraska could carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day.

Commenting on HSBC’s announcement, John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said: "This latest vote of no-confidence from a major financial institution shows that tar sands are becoming an increasingly toxic business proposition. It makes no sense to expand production of one of the most polluting fossil fuels if we are serious about dealing with climate change in a post-Paris world. HSBC has got the message.”

Photo Credit: Nick Garrod/Flickr

Coal-fired power plants were absent from Britain’s energy mix for more than two days straight this week, in a latest sign that the historical days of using coal are well and truly numbered.

Data from the National Grid, a private company, has shown that no coal was used in electricity generation in Great Britain between 10:25 pm on Monday until 5:10 am on Thursday.

This does not include Northern Ireland, whose energy usage is recorded within the island of Ireland.

By coincidence, it was late April in 2017 that Britain went a full 24 hours without using coal, the first time this had occurred since the Industrial Revolution. This was followed by another 40-hour period in October.

In total, coal’s contribution to Britain’s electricity mix has taken a short, sharp fall in recent years. According to data compiled by the Carbon Brief website, coal use has declined by 75 percent between 2014 and 2017, leading to a historical low of 5.3 percent of energy consumption last year.

The drop-off has been led by multiple aging plants coming offline and the UK’s carbon price, which makes the economic case for running coal much harder. Falling usage has been one of the primary drivers behind the UK’s declining carbon emissions, falling by 12 percent in 2017.

The UK government has also made a commitment to phase-out all unabated coal plants by 2025, which has sent a clear signal for investors to get out of this market. On current trends this target could achieved well before the 2020s though.

“The UK benefits from highly diverse and flexible sources of electricity and our energy mix continues to change,” Fintan Slye, the National Grid’s director of UK systems operations, told The Independent newspaper.

“However, it’s important to remember coal is still an important source of energy as we transition to a low carbon system”. Thermal plants, such as coal, are now being used just for peak periods of energy demand, such as the winter months.

                  National Grid tweeted out the record-breaking news on Thursday morning

Fresh analysis of the electric vehicle market has shown China and Norway dominating in terms of sales and market share.

The data was compiled by the Centre of Automotive Management (CAM) in Germany.

China dominates in terms of the number of new sales with 142,445 electric vehicles purchased in the first quarter of 2018, a 154 percent increase on the first three months of 2017.

Meanwhile, Norway’s share of registered electric vehicles rose to an astonishing 48 percent, up from 35 percent on last year. In total, 16,181 were purchased between January and March.

Sales of electric vehicles in China, Germany and the UK all represented a 2 percent share of the overall total in each respective country. However, Germany saw a 70 percent increase in new electric vehicles over the past year, up to 17,549. The UK’s figure of 14,084 was a healthy 11 percent increase on 2017.

Provisional figures from last month also showed that diesel sales in both Germany and the UK had fallen off a cliff compared with the same time last year. Diesel has made significant declines in all three months of 2018 in Germany, reaching a high of 25 percent in March. UK sales dropped by 37 percent.

Stefan Bratzel at CAM commented: “China and Norway are exceptional in e-mobility. The lead market remains China, where substantial industrial policy motives are driving battery-electric vehicle technology forward.

“In Norway, where now almost half of new vehicle registrations are e-vehicles, it becomes clear how quickly a change in drive technologies can take place. Generally, e-mobility is also gaining momentum.”

It is expected that electric vehicles will dominate the automobile market in years to come as concerns about air pollution and climate change become more prominent. In addition, steep reductions in the cost of lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power the vehicles, have helped stoke the market.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has predicted that by 2040 sales will account for one third of the world’s auto fleet, a total of 530 million vehicles.

A new report has shone a light on the strong economic progress wind energy is making in the United States.

The fast-growing clean sector now employs 105,500 men and women across all 50 states after a bumper year of 9 percent growth, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“American wind power reached new heights for energy generated and US jobs in 2017. And don’t be surprised when the industry continues to break records,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Wind is competitively priced, reliable, and clean – a winning combination that’s creating economic growth in all 50 states.”

The yearly data from the trade body highlights wind power’s strong contribution to the American economy, providing new skills and opportunities, especially in rural areas where 99 percent of US wind farms are located. Wind turbine technician is also the country’s second fastest growing occupation, behind solar PV installer, according to the US Department of Labor.

American manufacturing has particularly benefitted from the growth of wind energy with 500 factories now in operation up and down the country. These facilities support over 23,000 jobs, according to the report. Furthermore, ranchers and farmers were paid an estimated $267 million for the opportunity to host wind farms on their property. An important source of alternative income while still being able to raise livestock under turbines.

2017 saw 7,017 megawatts (MW) of capacity installed in the US, bringing the final total to just under 89,000MW; 54,000 turbines across the country are able to power around 27 million households. Globally, this figure puts the US comfortably in second place ahead of Germany which has built 56,100MW. China dominates worldwide installations on 188,200MW.

In total, US wind power helped generate a record 6.3 percent of US electricity in 2017, up from 5.5 percent on the year before. And four states went much further with over 30 percent of their electricity coming from wind: Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. 14 additional states generated more than 10 percent from turbines. All renewables combined provide 18 percent of US electricity.

“States are where the action is happening for wind,” added Kiernan. “Individual states’ policy choices and the strength of their infrastructure will play a big role in determining where wind power’s future growth is channeled.”  

                                   Wind generation hit 30 percent across four US states over the past year

Source: AWEA

An international cricket ground has taken major steps towards making the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future.

The Oval, a historic sporting venue in south London, and home to Surrey County Cricket Club, has announced plans to eliminate single-use plastics and run entirely on renewable energy.

Starting with the new 2018 season, the club will work to ban all plastic straws, introduce compostable coffee cups and gradually phase-out the use of plastic bags. It is targeting 2020 to become entirely plastic free across its entire business.

At the same time, it has signed a deal with Fidelity Energy and French multinational ENGIE to supply the ground with 100 percent renewable power. The partnership, which has been in place since last year, will run until at least 2022 and save an estimated 6,252 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Surrey CCC Chief Executive, Richard Gould, said: “The club has always been very conscious of reducing its impact on the environment wherever possible and, after a great deal of thought, has decided to make this ambitious commitment.”

Since 2015, the ground has only served beer in recyclable glasses, and is working on extending this to soft drinks. It also has an ongoing partnership with Sky to promote reusable plastic, which has led to the construction of 20 permanent water fountains.

To achieve its new plastic-free goal, the club “will need to work with our Members, fans, partners and staff to analyse all areas of the business and work out where we need to introduce alternative products and ways of working,” concluded Gould.

Paul Havell, co-founder of Fidelity Energy, added: “We are delighted to have secured a 100 percent renewable green electricity contract for the Kia Oval and are thrilled to be able to help the club achieve their goal of reducing their carbon footprint. This move demonstrates their commitment to renewables and sustainability.”

Climate Action is hosting the 3rd Sustainable Innovation in Sport Forum on 2-3 May at the Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands. To find out more, visit the Sustainable Innovation in Sport website.

One of England’s leading football clubs has become the latest high-profile name to announce plans to fight plastic pollution.

Tottenham Hotspur is pledging to eliminate all plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery from the opening day of its new £850 million stadium in north London.

None of these items will be stocked in future nor will alternatives come in disposable plastic packaging.

All new supplier contracts will also contain a requirement to reduce single-use plastics and the club will replace its current 5p carrier bags with ones which are biodegradable.

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “I am delighted that we shall be bringing our values to the new stadium to both play our part in the reduction of single-use plastics and raise awareness of the importance of doing so.”

Its ban on single-use plastics will extend to all parts of the club, including premium areas within the stadium, and its One Hotspur membership scheme. Members will now receive a Bag for Life when the next season starts.

The new 62,000 seated venue is a replacement to the now demolished White Hart Lane site, its traditional home for over 100 years. The stadium is planned for completion in 2018 having been under construction for the past three years.

“As a club we have always taken our responsibility to care for our environment seriously. We have demonstrated this with the environmentally sensitive development of our Training Centre, where we have preserved historic hedgerows and planted for the future and which will see us adding an Environmental Centre and Nature Reserve there too. Another first by the club,” Levy added.

Football clubs in the English Premier League have slowly started to incorporate more sustainable practices within their operations, often prompted by new building schemes. Manchester City’s training academy, for example, was built to the highest environmental standards, including sustainable water and waste initiatives.

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              Tottenham's new stadium should be ready for the new 2018/2019 season

The UK Government is planning to ban plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-tipped cotton buds in a further acceleration of its war on the waste material. The ban will initially only apply to England.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the announcement today at the start of a major Commonwealth meeting in London. Earlier this week, Climate Action reported that the UK was also pledging £61 million to fund initiatives to tackle plastic waste in Commonwealth nations.

The move also forms part of the government’s new 25 Year Environment Plan launched earlier this year which aims to remove all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

In a statement, Mrs May said plastic waste is “one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world.”

“The UK government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban, and today we have put forward ambitious plans to further reduce plastic waste from straws, stirrers and cotton buds.”

It’s estimated that 8.5 billion plastic straws are thrown away each year in the UK, many of which make their way into rivers, seas, and oceans. A consultation on the ban will be launched by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove later this year. The government signalled its intention to work with industry to develop alternatives and ensure a minimum of disruption to businesses. The ban will also not apply for medical reasons.

Mr Gove commented: “Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife so it is vital we act now.”

“We’ve already seen a number of retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use, however it’s only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation – we all have a role to play in turning the tide on plastic.”

More than 170 religious leaders from all over the world have urged governments from the Commonwealth to “turn words into action” and stop dangerous climate change.

Archbishops, rabbis, and church moderators are among the leaders who have written an open letter, published in The Daily Telegraph this week ahead of a major Commonwealth meeting.

The group states that “not even the remotest corner of the Commonwealth remains unaffected or unthreatened by the impacts of climate change. Commonwealth citizens, especially the poorest, struggle to thrive amidst our changing climate.”

They urge the gathering prime ministers and presidents to be aware of the need for urgent action on the issue and to “pursue every effort to keep the increase in average global temperature below 1.5 degrees.”

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), brings together the 53 leaders from the organisation, and is currently taking place this week in London. The biannual meeting was originally scheduled to take place on the Pacific island of Vanuatu in late 2017, but a fiercely strong cyclone hit the country in 2015 and its infrastructure hasn’t fully recovered.

The letter highlights how climate change is impacting all continents, from African countries struggling to grow crops to rising sea levels in the Pacific and violent, destructive storms in the Caribbean. 

“At the scale of the Commonwealth we can see that the crisis of poverty and the crisis of ecology are one…As a common problem, this crisis requires a common solution. And it is needed now,” it continues.

The call comes at a time when the UK’s own climate change minister, Claire Perry, has asked for a review on strengthening its long-term targets so that they align with the Paris Agreement; a possible sign that increased pressure on government works.

Last month, 22 national science academies from around the Commonwealth released a similar statement ahead of CHOGM which urged for stronger action to prevent runaway global temperatures.

In a separate editorial in The Guardian newspaper, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, called on the Commonwealth to “kickstart a global offensive” on climate change. Ms Ardern, who recently banned new offshore oil and gas licenses in the country, reaffirmed her commitment to New Zealand achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Photo Credit: Department for International Development / Rafiqur Rahman Raqu

The UK’s offshore wind industry had one of its most successful years on record in 2017, according to the company which leases the country’s seabed.

The Crown Estate, a remnant of the lands owned by the Royal Family, has just released its operational report covering the sector’s activities over the past year.

It details how offshore wind has made significant progress in cost reduction, investment, and clean energy generation.

6.2 percent of all the UK's electricity was supplied by turbines at 33 operational offshore wind farms, up from 5 percent the year before. This is enough power to supply 5.3 million homes in the country, or, put another way, the equivalent of supplying 91 percent of domestic homes in the UK’s top 10 cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

This power also helped reduce carbon emissions by 8.6 million tonnes.

A further eight offshore wind farms currently being built will ensure the industry reaches its target of 10 percent electricity generation by 2020. Construction has continued apace in 2017 with an average of one turbine per day being installed in UK waters.

Low prices were also set during an auction for government contracts in September 2017; new projects coming forward are 47 percent cheaper than they were three years ago.

2017 also saw new investors entering the market, indicating offshore wind’s attractiveness among heavyweights within the financial sector. Legal and General, for example, issued its first debt financing; major Danish pension funds PKA and PFA also purchased a stake in a wind farm worth £2 billion.

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals & Infrastructure at The Crown Estate said: “2017 has been a milestone year for the UK offshore wind sector, the busiest yet for construction, and delivering more electricity than ever before. This latest report showcases an increasingly mature sector, delivering large-scale, low-carbon power, with record low bid prices for future projects, making the most of the UK’s world-class seabed resources and creating jobs opportunities across the country.”

Source: The Crown Estate

Photo Credit: MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

One of Europe’s busiest airports, located in The Netherlands, is on course to become fully sustainable in the near future.

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam handles 63 million passengers a year, making it the third-highest in the continent. To handle this volume in the right way, it has designs to become one of the most sustainable airports in the world.

Jos Nijhuis, the airport’s President and CEO has previously stated that “one thing is certain: aviation can and must be made more sustainable.”

As part of this plan, and to align itself with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Royal Schiphol Group has just opened a new wind farm.

The Autena project, built by Dutch developer Eneco, consists of three turbines, two of which will be used to supply the airport with 10 percent of its power needs, equivalent to the annual consumption of around 17,000 households.

The move forms part of a deal struck with Eneco last year to source all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.  The energy firm is developing more wind farms to meet this goal, which will see it provide 200 gigawatt hours of clean power to all of Holland’s major airports, including Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven, and Lelystad.

Nijhuis added the agreement “will allow our airports to increase their sustainability and offer economic benefits.”

Along with renewable power, Schiphol recently unveiled 100 new electric buses at the airport, which will be used 24 hours a day in and around the terminals. It has installed fast-charging infrastructure which allows batteries to be refuelled in 2-4 minutes.

Miriam Hoekstra-van der Deen, Director of Airport Operations at Schiphol commented that “It is fantastic that from today, thousands of passengers, commuters and employees will be taking green buses from and to Schiphol.”

“Schiphol Airport has helped drive this project forward with great enthusiasm and we are very happy that we have been able to contribute to it. Ultimately, we want Schiphol to be climate-neutral by 2040,” she added.

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>> VILLAGE OF MINSTER, OHIO, UNITED STATES 

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

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

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

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

WHAT ARE THE INDICATORS? 

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

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

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

1. PV installed cost trends, 

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

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

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

WHY DEVELOP THESE INDICATORS? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW ARE THE INDICATORS CALCULATED?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHICH MARKETS WILL BE COVERED? 

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

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

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

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

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

Background

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

Key conclusions

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

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

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

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

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

Tariffs may rise in the near term

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solar power to move from being the most competitive power source

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

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

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

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

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

New integrated smart home and distributed energy resources solutions are expected to revolutionize the way people interact with their homes and the Energy Cloud

A new report from examines the evolution occurring in technology and customer-focused solutions for residential utility customers, analyzing how traditional business models are being disrupted.

As the grid evolves into a cleaner, more distributed, and intelligent infrastructure, incumbent utilities are looking to deliver new customer-focused products and services. For some customers, developing a different relationship with their existing utility could provide the best solutions for their needs, while for others, the best option might be working directly with a new technology market entrant. : According to a new report from , new solutions-based business models and technology providers are expected to transform the residential utility market.

“The confluence of new distributed energy resources (DER) and smart home technology has created smarter, greener, and more resilient energy options for residential utility customers,” says William Tokash, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “These new solutions will revolutionize the way people interact with their homes while also extending the role that residential DER can play in the Energy Cloud.”

For utilities, solutions-based business models that rely on technology platforms offer new opportunities with the potential to scale faster and yield greater profit margins. For non-utility technology disruptors, the integration of smart home and home energy technology coupled with the rise of big data analytics offers opportunities to meet changing customer needs and the potential to partner with utilities for success.

The report, , examines the evolution occurring in technology and customer-focused solutions for residential utility customers. The study analyzes DER, mobility, community energy, and smart home/home energy technology trends that are creating the need for new residential utility customer solutions. It also discusses how traditional utility models for residential customers are being impacted, as well as the new customer segments and business models arising from these trends. 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, Maximizing the Residential Energy Customer Experience with Emerging 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.

The diverse horticulture market offers incumbents, startups, and universities opportunities to collaborate on scalable solutions

A new report from examines the global market potential for horticultural lighting, with a focus on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), providing forecasts for lamps and luminaires, segmented by horticulture type, building type, technology type, and region, through 2027.

By offering greater energy efficiency and better crop yields, improvements in LED technology are providing growers larger profits as well as other benefits. Leveraging a growing indoor farming market, today’s lighting manufacturers are providing tunable solutions of LEDs that support plants during different stages of the grow cycle, allowing farmers to monitor every known influence on the crop’s well-being, and encouraging further adoption. : According to a new report from , global luminaire revenue for horticultural applications is expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2027.

“Market growth in horticultural LED applications has helped lower installation costs for luminaires, driving further adoption for LED technology,” says Courtney Marshall, research analyst with Navigant Research. “This feedback loop between more affordable prices and greater adoption rates has created a market environment marked by innovation and experimentation as vendors look to upgrade their offerings with quality research.”

While the industry’s lack of an existing one-size-fits-all approach can be a market challenge, it also presents an opportunity for collaboration among incumbents, startups, and universities to provide customers with proven and scalable lighting offerings. According to the report, by taking advantage of the academic space to conduct controlled experiments, vendors can increase credibility and may also discover successful lighting applications that could speak to an audience as diverse as the horticultural market.

The report, , analyzes the global market potential for horticultural lighting, with a focus on LEDs. The study provides an analysis of the market issues, including drivers and barriers, associated with lighting for horticultural applications. Global market forecasts for lamps and luminaires, segmented by horticulture type, building type, technology type, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines regional LED horticulture market highlights, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the .

Contact: Lindsay Funicello-Paul

+1.781.270.8456

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

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

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

Pg18 Perspective Sujoy Ghosh Country Head First Solar India

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

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

Pg18 George John mytrah

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

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

Pg17 Perspective SIndicatum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impact Of GST On Solar Sector

Key Driving factors for falling bids in india

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

# # #

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

The prices attained in recent auctions are influenced by several factors

The importance of quality infrastructure across the solar value chain

Various Instruments For India’s Clean Energy Support Measures 

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Credits: IRENA REMap India Paper 2017

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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VALUE CREATION IN THE PHOTOVOLTAIC SECTOR

Auctions in the power sector

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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