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A new report has highlighted the global insurance industry’s continued failure to recognise the existential threats posed by climate change.

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project, an independent, non-profit analysed the performance of the world’s top 80 insurance companies in adapting to a low-carbon economy.

They looked at whether insurer’s had a climate strategy, targets and any risk management policies in place using both publicly available information and private surveying.

It shows that progress is being made in Europe and Japan, but that the United States seriously lags behind.

And taken as a whole, nine out of ten investment strategies in the sector weren’t aligned to the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Analysts also found that less than 0.5 percent of the group’s estimated $15 trillion assets were placed in low-carbon investments.

Zelda Bentham, Group Head of Sustainability at Aviva, said: “It is clear from the report that there is much more to do. Increased action on addressing climate risk is needed throughout the insurance sector value chain, on both the asset and liability side, if we are to continue in our role as society’s risk manager.”

Some of the world’s largest insurers did perform well in the rankings; AXA and Aviva both topped the chart, receiving an AAA rating.

German insurance giant Allianz came in third and UK’s Legal & General climbed an impressive eight places to claim forth. The insurer received a D rating last year, but is now at AA, highlighting the progress that can be made in a short amount of time.

Japan’s Tokio Marine was the only non-European company in the top ten, having moved up six places in the past year. Overall Japanese companies showed significant improvement on climate transparency, possibly led by recent action from the government’s huge pension fund.

However, US insurers performed particularly badly with only 3 of the 24 companies assessed receiving a rating above D or X, the lowest rankings.

Katharina Latif, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Allianz, commented: “As an institutional investor and insurer we are supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy with both our insurance solutions and investments. Climate action is a strategic priority for us and we, therefore, engage investee companies as well as international policy-makers to walk the talk.”

Photo Credit: Michele Ursino/Flickr

A government survey of the top pension funds in the UK has found mixed results on the group’s approach to climate change.

The Environmental Audit Committee requested information from the leading 25 funds on how they are responding to climate risk and whether it is changing investment decisions.

The Committee split the responses into three categories. It identified a ‘more engaged’ group of 11 funds, which supported climate-related financial disclosures and most were committed towards doing so. This included 7 of the largest funds in the country.

A second group of 8 remained engaged but were more cautious and less committed to reporting on climate change. While there was some evidence of responsible investment, it was less embedded within its work.

A quarter of pension funds surveyed were seen as less engaged and had not even considered climate change as a risk. This group displayed “little reported evidence of strategic input or oversight from the pension scheme’s governing body”, according to the Committee. 10 of the funds also had no plans to report on climate risk.

The encouraging news from the poll showed that 20 of the funds were able to list at least one action taken on climate risk, and almost half had discussed the issue at Board level.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, commented: "It is encouraging that a majority of the UK’s largest pension funds say they are taking steps to manage the risks that climate change poses to UK pension investments. But a minority of funds appear worryingly complacent. Pension funds should at least assess the exposure of their assets to the physical, transition and liability risks from climate change that will materialise during savers’ lifetimes.”

The survey is part of the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into green finance in the UK, and the government’s stated aim to develop ‘world-leading’ capabilities in the sector.

Hilton Hotels has made a major step towards supporting efforts to tackle climate change and support sustainable development.

New targets have been set across the business to reduce carbon emissions, heavily cut consumption and promote sustainability.

It now has a goal to cut carbon emissions by 61 percent by 2030, creating in line with the Science Based Targets initiative. The campaign exists to help major corporates how to cut emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement.

The global brand operates over 570 hotels worldwide and the move could spur the industry to make similar strong commitments to tackle climate change.

A recent study found that the tourism industry’s carbon footprint is, in fact, four times higher than first thought, contributing 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Along with its carbon target, water consumption and waste will now be reduced by 50 percent; all plastic straws will be removed from its managed properties, and all soap will now be recycled.

The company has also pledged to ensure it sustainably sources its meat, poultry, seafood and cotton.

“For nearly 100 years, Hilton has been driven by our mission to have a positive impact on the communities surrounding our hotels,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton, “In this Golden Age of Travel, we are taking a leadership role to ensure that the destinations where travelers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet to come.”

Hilton has been working on sustainability issues for the past ten years. In that time it has managed to reduce both its carbon emissions and waste by 30 percent. In addition, it has reduce its energy and water consumption by 20 percent. These efficiency improvements have made sound business sense, saving the company an estimate $1 billion.

“Companies play an integral role in solving our climate crisis,” said Sheila Bonini, Senior Vice President, Private Sector Engagement, WWF. “By committing to significant intensity emissions reductions based on science, Hilton is setting in motion a plan that will have ripple effects across the hospitality industry while providing more sustainable options for travelers.”

A wind farm developed by a housing association has exceeded expectations in its first year of operation.

Since its construction last year, the Fisherman Three wind farm has generated 24 million units of clean electricity, helping to provide £37,500 in community benefits.

The project consists of three wind turbines located on the Scottish coast, near to a nuclear power station.

It was developed by the Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) as an innovative way of funding new, affordable housing in the area. The non-profit organisation teamed up with Community Energy Scotland in a unique partnership which also funds local initiatives and lowers carbon emissions.

It’s expected that over the project’s 25-year lifespan it will generate £20 million in revenue, and support the construction of 500 new homes in the area.

The strong performance of the wind farm in its first year has powered the equivalent of 7,700 homes, more than BHA’s entire housing stock.

BHA’s Chief Executive Helen Forsyth said: “This has been a very good first year for us. It has been fascinating learning about the running of the wind farm and we are very upbeat about the future and the income we will be able to put back into the communities.”

The first payment will be spent on local community priorities and good causes, such as a new village hall.

Nicholas Gubbins, Chief Executive of CES, added: “We are delighted with the performance of The Fishermen Three, which has exceeded the forecast for its first year. The wind farm is on course to make an important financial contribution to our work helping Scottish communities address their energy issues.”

A second housing association in Scotland has since announced plans to develop a similar project to fund a range of community needs.

A draft bill put before the Scottish Parliament has set a goal of reducing carbon emissions to almost zero by 2050.

The 90 percent reduction target is an increase on the current 80 percent level set by the UK-wide Climate Change Act in 2008.

The Scottish Government also added that a 100 percent, or net zero, target will be reviewed and implemented as soon as possible.

Its interim targets are also set to change by the new bill, which the government described as the most ambitious in the world. Its existing targets see a 42 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, which now increase to 56 percent within two years, and 66 percent by 2030.

Latest analysis has shown that as of 2015 Scotland had managed to reduce its carbon emissions by 38 percent below 1990 levels. The new target means much stronger action will be required from all sections of society.

Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the bill will become legally binding and cover all aspects of the economy.

“The fight against climate change is a moral responsibility but Scotland’s academic and engineering expertise, coupled with our outstanding natural resources, mean it is also an economic opportunity.”

“Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our age and Scotland’s international leadership means our plans must be ambitious, credible and affordable – which is exactly what the new Climate Change Bill delivers,” she added.

Despite these strong words, some environmentalists expressed disappointment that the bill didn’t go further. Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said the Scottish Government “has failed to live up to its own rhetoric on global climate change leadership, by failing to set a net zero emissions target in the Climate Change Bill published today.”

“As it stands, this Bill does not deliver on the Paris Agreement, and it does not deliver climate justice to those who are already feeling the devastating impacts of climate change.”

Earlier this year, WWF Scotland published analysis which showed the carbon footprint of Scottish households had fallen by 25 percent since 2009.

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Photo Credit: Colin/Wikimedia Commons

The European Commission has released fresh proposals to ensure the financial sector contributes towards combating climate change.

New rules and guidance have been created to make it easier for investors to understand and act on sustainability and climate risk concerns. The creation of a ‘taxonomy’ will help define and clarify what investments are, and aren’t, green.

The regulations also propose forcing asset managers and institutional investors to disclose how they are factoring in environmental risk into their investment decisions.

“All financial entities that manage investments on behalf of their clients or beneficiaries will now have to inform them about how their activities are impacting the planet or their local environment,” said the Commission in a written statement. This is intended to create more choice for investors “who wish to invest in the future of the planet while earning a return.”

The proposals build on the Commission’s ongoing work to accelerate sustainable finance within Europe. Its recent Action Plan set out an initial strategy on the issue, which aimed to ensure finance benefitted the planet and society.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President for financial affairs said the actions “show that the European Union is committed to ensuring that our investments go in the right direction.”

“They are about harnessing the vast power of capital markets in the fight against climate change and promoting sustainability."

Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President responsible for jobs and investment commented that an estimated €180 billion a year is needed to meet the EU’s 2030 climate targets.

“Today’s proposals will increase transparency of sustainable finance and the investment opportunities it offers, so that investors have reliable information available to enable the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy."

The rules will next go to the European Parliament and Council for approval before being made law before 2022.

Credit: Photo YourSpace

Hamburg has become the first German city to restrict the use of diesel vehicles in response to a court ruling earlier this year.

Germany’s second largest city has started to unveil signs preventing older diesel vehicles, which do not meet EU emissions standards, from entering two major thoroughfares. The ban will take force on 31 May, according to the local government, and police will issue fines of up to 75 euros to offending vehicles.

The move follows a ruling from Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig that regions could legally restrict diesel cars to tackle high levels of air pollution.

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze reportedly told a German national newspaper that “driving bans like those in Hamburg show how serious the situation is.” She implored manufacturers to retrofit existing diesel cars to lower emissions, adding “it’s up to the car industry now.”

The ban will affect a stretch of road one mile long in the city centre, impacting only commercial diesel vehicles, and a separate road around 580 metres long, covering all diesel vehicles.

The Reuters news agency reports that out of the 330,000 diesel cars on Hamburg’s roads, only 116,000 are fitted with the more efficient Euro-6 technology, introduced in 2014.  The older, more polluting models are associated with a range of cardiovascular diseases, and directly contribute to thousands of premature deaths.

Germany is one of six countries, including the UK and France, being taken to court by the European Commission for its failure to meet the EU’s air quality standards. The Commission identified 26 areas in Germany, including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, which were in violation of nitrogen dioxide levels.

Julia Poliscanova at the think tank Transport & Environment said the decision to take them to court showed governments “cannot go on allowing citizens to be poisoned by toxic air”.

“Now it’s time to get tough on the main cause of the breach: the manufacturers of the 40 million dirty diesel cars and vans still on Europe’s roads.”

England is facing increased water pressures due to the combined challenges of a growing population, climate change, and unsustainable land use.

These are the key findings from a new report from the government’s Environment Agency, which looked at the state of the country’s water resources.

An astonishing 3 billion litres of water are also lost every day simply from leaks, equivalent to the amount used by 20 million people.

In 2016, 9.5 trillion litres of freshwater was extracted from the country’s rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, among others. However, both groundwater and surface water usage was seen to be at levels which weren’t sustainable in the long run.

Population in England alone (not including the rest of the UK) is expected to hit 58.5 million people by 2026, creating new pressures in areas where water availability is already under strain.

“Projections suggest that if no action is taken to reduce demand and increase supply of water, most areas will not meet demand by the 2050s,” warns the report.

“Even low population growth and modest climate change scenarios suggest significant water supply deficits by the 2050s, particularly in the south-east.”

Climate change is also impacting the timing and nature of rainfall in England, causing hotter summers and warmer, wetter winters. Rainfall during summer could also come in the form of shorter, bigger downpours, a situation where flooding and drought could exist at the same time.

The increased likelihood of drought and increased temperatures could also lead to the spread of diseases, such as dengue fever, carried by mosquitoes.

Unsustainable practices in the use of available land are also compounding water pressures:  increased urbanisation, draining wetlands, mining and agricultural practices all need to be managed more carefully and sustainably.

“It is not yet clear what the exact extent of some of the impacts will be. However there is strong evidence that action must continue to reduce demand, increase supply and minimise wasting of water to prevent future shortages and limit environmental damage,” the report concludes.

Earlier this year, the Environment Agency also launched a public campaign to raise awareness about the risks of flooding.

The world’s largest public oil producer is planning to reduce its methane emissions by 15 percent by 2020.

ExxonMobil made the announcement today along with plans to reduce flaring at gas sites by 25 percent and increase energy efficiency measures.

The oil giant will achieve this through making operational improvements such as ‘leak detection and repair’ efforts, which have led to a 2 percent drop in the past year.

“We have a longstanding commitment to improve efficiency and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer. “Today’s announcement builds on that commitment and will help further drive improvements in our business.”

The company will seek to improve energy efficiency across its refining and chemicals manufacturing business, although it did not provide details.

Exxon claims to have spent $9 billion on technologies to lower emissions since 2000, including carbon capture, biofuels, and flare reduction.  It expects to make the most ground on meeting its new goal on flaring by targeting its West Africa operations.

Flaring is used to ease the pressure on equipment by burning gas, which is then released into the atmosphere. Widespread use of the technique is a major source of carbon emissions.

Exxon’s news comes at a time of increased pressure on oil and gas companies to make stronger commitments on climate change. A group of sixty major investors called on the sector to “take responsibility” for its carbon emissions in a letter to the Financial Times last week.

Royal Dutch Shell also defeated a motion to set targets in line with the Paris Agreement at its annual general meeting this week. The meeting was dominated by discussions on the company’s actions to lower its carbon emissions.

BP has tried to stave off shareholder revolts by placing a cap on future carbon emissions out to 2025.

Technology giant Intel is making strong progress towards sustainability.

The company’s annual report on its corporate responsibilities, released last week, highlights the array of measures it is taking towards meet its environmental goals.

Intel has a target to reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent a year by 2020. Its latest analysis shows the company is on track to achieve this, having decreased the carbon intensity of its operations by 20 percent in 2017.

The company’s commitment to climate action is significant given its global presence; it operates multiple offices in over 70 countries and employs 106,000 people.

In the past five years it has ramped up its investments in energy conservation, spending 185 million on 2,000 projects, which have helped save an estimated 3 million megawatt hours. 2017 alone saw savings of 142,000 megawatt hours thanks to 189 conservation projects across its global business.

100 percent of its power use in the United States and European Union is now sourced from renewables, and globally this totals 73 percent of energy usage.

Focussing on energy efficiency has also proved to be good business sense as it has led to economic savings of more than $400 million, according to the company.

In addition to energy measures, in 2017 it set a new goal of ensuring 100 percent of its global water usage is restored to local communities by 2025, up from the current rate of 18 percent.

“We continue to explore new opportunities to apply our technology to help solve major societal challenges, from protecting endangered species and understanding the impacts of climate change, to treating cancer and respecting human rights,” commented Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich.

The company has also made progress in improving the environmental performance of its buildings. 25 percent of its building space has achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. This equates to over 15 million square feet across 46 buildings.

“We also continued to advance the application of digital efficiency technologies that empower others to reduce their own environmental footprints,” he added.

Source: Intel

New research has found a clear correlation between the phasing out of fossil fuel power plants and improved public health.

Academics from the University of California at Berkeley delved into public health records to assess what impact local power plant closures may have had on early birth rates.

Eight coal and oil plants closed in California between 2001 and 2011. The researchers found that those babies who were born too early dropped from 7 to 5.1 percent one year after these closures.

Preterm births, defined as between 32 and 37 weeks, are caused by health problems often linked to external factors.

The researchers expressed surprise that birth rates within 5km of the plants dropped by so much, but that the data remained consistent with similar research on the matter

The rates for African-American and Asian women fell further, from 14.4 to 11.3 percent.

“We were excited to do a good news story in environmental health,” said lead author Joan Casey. “Most people look at air pollution and adverse health outcomes, but this is the flip side: We said, let’s look at what happens when we have this external shock that removes air pollution from a community and see if we can see any improvements in health.”

The research highlights another benefit of making the transition to low-carbon and renewable forms of energy.

Pauline Mendola of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development applauded the work, while pointing out that preterm births was “one of our most intractable health disparities.”

“Perhaps it’s time for the health of our children to be the impetus behind reducing the common sources of ambient air pollution. Their lives depend on it,” she added.

The paper was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Fossil fuel closures in California between 2001 and 2011

Source: UC Berkeley

An energy start-up has secured investment to build what will be world’s largest battery network.

UK-based Pivot Power has unveiled plans to construct the 2 gigawatt project, which will see new grid-scale batteries and rapid charging stations installed across the country.

This is designed to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and help the National Grid work more flexibly in response to renewable energy.

The UK Government announced plans last year to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Pivot Power’s £1.6 billion programme will see 50 megawatt batteries constructed at 45 sites, located near major towns and roads to also help supply new rapid EV charging stations.

The ambitious plan represents a major leap forward in the transition to clean energy, and dwarfs existing battery projects in the UK. The network will be able to store roughly two thirds the energy of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power plant.

If successful, it will also be the world’s largest, meeting the energy needs of 235,000 homes for a day.

Graeme Cooper at National Grid said: “We expect the use of electric vehicles to grow rapidly. This innovative solution will help accelerate adoption by providing a network of rapid charging stations across the country enabling cars to charge quickly, efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.

“It will also give the system operator more choice and flexibility for managing the demands in the day to day running of the network, and also help mass EV charging”.

The company aims to have batteries up and running at 10 sites within the next 18 months. A site in Southampton on England’s south coast could be built by 2019 if it secures planning permission.

Pivot Power’s CEO Matt Allen said: “We want to future-proof the UK’s energy system and accelerate the electric vehicle revolution, helping the UK to clean up its air and meet climate targets. Big problems require big solutions, and we are moving fast to put in place a unique network to support a clean, affordable, secure energy system and embrace the low-carbon economy.”

Energy entrepreneur Michael Liebreich, an early investor in the project, said: “Pivot Power were quick to understand the scale and nature of the opportunity and have positioned themselves brilliantly.”

Photo Credit: Nick Birse/Wikimedia Commons

Electricity Production

An assessment of monthly data shows that in 2017, OECD net electricity production grew by 0.8% compared to 2016. There was a significant increase, 16.7%, in Geothermal, Solar, Wind and Other renewables3 generation and a marginal increase of Hydro by 0.5%. Combustible Fuels4and Nuclear fell by 1% and 0.8%, respectively.

In the OECD, non-combustible renewables accounted for 23.7% of all generation compared to 22.4% in 2016. The share of production from combustible fuels (including combustible renewables) fell by 1.0 ppt to 58.7%, with the remainder made up from nuclear – which dropped 0.3 ppt from its 2016 share.

Geothermal, solar, wind and other renewables

Total OECD production of electricity from Geothermal, Solar, Wind and Other renewables was 1030.3 TWh in 2017, 147.2 TWh or 16.7% higher than 2016. This was by far the biggest gain seen in the last decade in this category. Increases were seen across OECD. OECD Asia/Oceania (hereafter, “Asia/Oceania”) grew by 17.1 TWh, or 19.4%; OECD Europe (hereafter, “Europe”) produced an additional 64.7 TWh, an increase of 14.9% whilst OECD Americas (hereafter, “the Americas”) rose the most with 65.3 TWh, or 18.2% higher production.

The top 5 contributing OECD countries were USA with an additional 50 TWh, followed by Germany, Japan, the UK and Canada. Interestingly, the USA gains were almost equally generated by Solar and Wind technologies whilst in Germany, the UK and Canada Wind produced the extra power. On the contrary, Japan benefited from solar energy. The highest growth rates were noticed in Luxembourg (primarily Wind) and Chile (both Wind and Solar over 50%)

Throughout the OECD, this category is mainly composed of generation from solar PV and wind. In 2017, electricity generation from wind in OECD countries showed its largest increase since our data begins, with an additional 97.7 TWh or 16.4% from the previous year. The majority of this increase occurred in Europe (53.2 TWh). Solar PV also had a record gain of 54.1 TWh in the OECD with the largest growth in the Americas (27.5 TWh).

Hydro electricity

Total OECD production of hydroelectricity in 2017 was 1 464.6 TWh, 6.9 TWh or 0.5% higher than 2016. However, generally hydro capacity has been almost constant across the OECD for the past 15 years because most of the available potential in OECD countries is already being used.

Hydroelectric production varied considerably across OECD regions. In the Americas, it recorded a significant increase of 7.9% as a result of heavy rainfall in Canada and the U.S., the top two Hydro producers in the OECD. In Asia/Oceania, Japan and Korea increases cancelled out falls in Australia and New Zealand whilst Hydro in Europe dropped by 8.4% with countries in the Mediterranean particularly affected. Specifically, Portugal and Spain experienced significant falls of 55.5% and 47.5% respectively due to much lower rainfall.

The largest increase in any OECD country was in Latvia with 73% compared to 2016, marking a historical high for electricity generation and Hydro (roughly 50% of production), which helped the country secure an electricity trade surplus.

Nuclear electricity

Total OECD cumulative production of nuclear electricity in 2017 was 1 856.1 TWh, 15.5 TWh or 0.8% lower than 2016. All regions contributed to this decrease. Although in the Americas it was insignificant, in OECD Asia/Oceania the change is attributed to Korea’s decreasing production, in line with ongoing discussions about the future of nuclear in the country, despite increases in Japan. In Europe, the continued phase out of nuclear generation in Germany, combined with operational outages in France were the main drivers. There were also operational outages in Belgium and Switzerland cancelling out the rebounds in the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Combustible fuel

Total OECD cumulative production of electricity from combustible fuels in 2017 was 6 188 TWh, 59.6 TWh or 1% lower than 2016. This comprised increases in Asia/Oceania and Europe of 0.3% and 4.9% respectively but a decrease in the Americas of 4.6%.

In the Americas, Combustibles decreased by 144 TWh resulting from the increase of Renewables, as Hydro picked up and Wind and Solar grew significantly. This however translated into a greater decline for natural gas compared to that for coal, with natural gas losing share in the fuel mix due to its higher prices.

In contrast, Europe Combustibles grew by 80TWh, having to compensate for a low Hydro year and falling Nuclear. Decarbonisation and fuel switching from coal to natural gas continued, with the combustibles increase being met by natural gas fired generation, as shown below.

Electricity trade

Total OECD electricity trade is representative of trade in Europe and the Americas5 since there is no electricity trade in Asia/Oceania. Exports slightly increased this year in the Americas by 0.6% with imports falling by 2.6%. In Europe, exported electricity in 2017 increased 4.8% to 406.4 TWh and electricity imports went up 0.9% to 399 TWh.

Certain patterns from 2016 continued in 2017. Germany was once more the top electricity exporter in Europe again surpassing France by more than 10 TWh. France remained a net exporter, with exports over 39 TWh, however, due to low nuclear production, this is less than two-thirds of 2015 French export figures. Additionally, France’s electricity trading was accompanied by higher volatility as for two months during 2017 France was a net importer affecting production and trade in much of Western Europe. Portugal and Ireland maintained their net exporter status, achieved in 2016 whilst Spain, Switzerland and Poland relied even more on imports. Swedish exports bounced back supported by an ongoing Hydro and Nuclear recovery. Turkey had a positive trade balance in 2017 for the first time since 2010 despite a fall in Hydro, which traditionally accounts for over one-fifth of its production.

Regional perspective

Each OECD region has different generation totals and production shares by fuel type, largely driven by different hydrologic conditions. The Americas was the only OECD region to post a decrease of electricity production of 0.4%. In Americas, Combustible Fuels dropped by 4.6%, while Nuclear decreased only marginally by 0.1%. Hydro rose by 7.9% and Geothermal, Wind, Solar and Other renewables increased significantly by 18.2%. In Asia/Oceania net electricity generation went up 0.9%. Combustible Fuels slightly increased by 0.3%, Nuclear declined 2.5% and Hydro rose by only 0.3% with Geothermal, Wind, Solar and Other renewables exhibiting again the highest increase by 19.4%. Electricity generation in Europe increased 2.4% following a different trend. Despite significant growth of Geothermal, Wind, Solar and Other renewables by 14.9%, this was not sufficient to offset 8.4% and 1.3% drops in Hydro and Nuclear respectively, resulting in a 4.9% increase of Combustible Fuels. The common theme in all OECD regions was falling nuclear and the rise of Geothermal, Solar, Wind and Other renewables.

In terms of shares of generation, combustible fuels remain the dominant source of electricity and accounted for 59% in the Americas, 79% in Asia/Oceania and 48% in Europe. Non-combustible renewables made up 23% of electricity production in the Americas compared to 12% in Asia/Oceania and 30% in Europe. Nuclear produced 18% of electricity in the Americas, 9% in Asia/Oceania and 22% in Europe.

Blockchain energy platforms must emphasize operational efficiency before the technology can be widely adopted in the energy sector.

A new report from analyzes the market for blockchain-based platforms in the utilities industry, providing forecasts for wholesale energy trading, EV charging and integration, and transactive energy platforms through 2026.

In 2016 and 2017, millions of dollars flowed into energy-related blockchain projects, and the adoption of the technology continues to grow. As decentralized energy markets emerge, these opportunities for energy-specific blockchain applications are an important target for industry. : According to a new report form @NavigantRSRCH, the total utility spending on blockchain-based platforms is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2026.

“The expectations for blockchain in the energy sector are sky-high, helped along by hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital investments and initial coin offering (ICO) fundraising,” says Johnathon de Villier, Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “However, the technology is still immature and unproven, and utility spending will grow at a much more measured pace.”

Future blockchain development in the utility industry depends on external technological factors, including the penetration of smart meters and networked charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. According to the report, blockchain adoption will not be disruptive until Internet of Things devices and communications technologies are integrated into compatible blockchain networks.

This report, , provides an overview of the developing market for blockchain-based platforms in the utilities industry. The study focuses on wholesale energy trading, certificates of origin, EV charging and integration, meter registration and switching, and transactive energy platforms. Global forecasts of utility spending, segmented by region and use case, extend through 2026. The report also describes the components of a blockchain architecture and explores the competitive landscape and key challenges that must be addressed before blockchain can be widely adopted in the energy sector.

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner
+49.221.270.70.142

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Utility Blockchain Applications 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.

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Market conditions and policies are driving acquisitions and new hybrid projects from incumbent generator providers, and new products and services are emerging

A new report from analyzes the advantages of energy storage with fossil fuel (ESFF) solutions to maximize the efficiency, value, and useful life of fossil fuel power plants.

The development of energy storage has been tightly associated with the integration of renewable energy. However, energy storage is one of the most versatile technologies on the grid. : According to a new report from , a new generation of projects combining energy storage with fossil fuel (ESFF) generators is shifting the paradigm of how energy storage is utilized.

“At a time when market conditions are forcing power plants into premature retirement, energy storage can increase revenue and lower the costs to operate power plants,” says Alex Eller, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In the same way a hybrid car utilizes battery storage to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, an energy storage system integrated with a conventional power plant can result in significant fuel savings while improving the grid’s overall resiliency.”

According to the report, market conditions and policies are driving acquisitions and new hybrid projects from incumbent generator providers. The pairing of storage with generators is also opening opportunities for new products and services both from companies serving large-scale utility markets and those focusing on distributed generation technologies for commercial and industrial customers.

The report, , explores the advantages of ESFF solutions to maximize the efficiency, value, and useful life of fossil fuel power plants. The study examines the various strategies that market players are using to capitalize on this emerging trend and provides background on the development of ESFF solutions. It also details some of the key opportunities presented by the growth of ESFF solutions and projects and provides recommendations for utilities, vendors, and project developers. 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, Optimizing Fossil Fuel Generation with Energy Storage, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

STORAGE AND SMART SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES

Standards organizations provide a starting point for understanding human-centric lighting and healthy buildings, but a clear measurement is still needed to impact the industry

A new report from analyzes the role human-centric lighting plays in healthy buildings, discussing challenges around standardization and providing recommendations for stakeholders.

Growing interest in healthy buildings—which focus on occupant well-being, health, and productivity—is paving the way for new opportunities in the commercial lighting industry. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lighting controls are some of the technologies helping to provide actionable data that can influence the relationship between occupants and buildings, in addition to providing cost savings. : However, according to a new report from , technology to measure and help quantify human-centric lighting is underutilized, and no clear standard measurement for human-centric lighting has been agreed upon.

“Human-centric lighting has been a growing buzzword within the lighting industry and is gaining attention by manufacturers, building owners, operators and occupants, and researchers,” says Krystal Maxwell, research analyst with Navigant Research. “But while interest and available products are increasing, there is still a lack of research available on human-centric lighting, how to quantify the benefits of it, and the best way to measure it.”

While standards organizations provide a starting point for understanding human-centric lighting and healthy buildings, lack of agreement on measurement is expected to delay industry progress, according to the report. In the meantime, government organizations can work to make the components of green and healthy buildings the norm, which is expected to be crucial for the long-term success of these types of certifications.

The report, , examines the growing interest in occupant health and well-being, focusing on human-centric lighting and the role it plays in the healthy building. The study discusses the building types that are a key focus for human-centric lighting and lack of agreement on standardization for quantifying how this type of lighting can influence productivity. Recommendations are provided on how stakeholders can help ensure human-centric lighting plays a positive role in healthy buildings. 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, Quantifying and Standardizing the Measurement of Human-Centric Lighting, 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.

Market players demonstrating safe, effective applications will be key to the evolution of unmanned vehicle regulation and market growth

A new report from examines unmanned vehicle (UV) technology in the areas of agriculture, logistics, asset inspection, emergency management, and insurance, providing insight on the current and future regulatory environment.

More industries are looking to UVs to collect visual information and carry out complex tasks as a safer, cheaper, and more reliable alternative to incumbent solutions. Although the majority of today’s UV use cases are for asset inspection, aerial imaging, and agricultural operations, improving technologies will be revolutionary for newer applications that take advantage of beyond visual line of sight and autonomous operations. : According to a new report from , current regulatory structures limit the ability to test and deploy innovative UV services, but as UV pilot programs establish the safety and reliability of the technology, regulations will likely adapt.

“Regulation has an important role in ensuring safety and protection of the public good as these new technology solutions are trialed and rolled out commercially,” says William Drier, research associate with Navigant Research. “However, varying regulatory structures can also limit what kinds of applications can be deployed, particularly for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).”

To succeed in this market, Navigant Research recommends companies identify a true value proposition over current solutions. Developers should prioritize specialized solutions for automating tasks, and be conscious that demonstrating safety and reliability will be key to the evolution of regulation and market growth, according to the report.

The report, , analyzes the increasing prevalence and advancement of UV technology in agriculture, logistics, asset inspection, emergency management, and insurance, as well as how upcoming changes will affect the growth of the market. The study provides commentary on the current regulatory environment and how Navigant Research envisions the future of these regulations and their impact on the UV market. It also identifies opportunities for stakeholders to focus on and what lies ahead to both be better adapted in the current market environment and facilitate the adoption of commercial UV operations. 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, Capturing New Commercial Opportunities with Unmanned Vehicles, 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.

Turbine manufacturers should continue to sell and invest in data analytics, while big wind plant owners can acquire in-house assets to maximize savings                                           

A new report from examines data collection within the wind power industry as asset owners seek to improve wind plant performance and manage operations and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Today’s wind plant owners face increasing pressure to optimize the performance of their wind projects, foresee impending component failures, and grow O&M savings. An increasingly sophisticated data technology ecosystem of sensors, condition monitoring systems (CMSs), turbine optimization platforms, and predictive analytics (PA) software can provide cost savings and risk management for plants large and small. : According to a new report from , there is considerable room for further deployment of data collection and analysis systems across the market.

“There is a growing addressable market for data collection and analysis platforms in the existing US and broader global wind fleet because not all wind plant owners have maximized the use of such systems,” says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Where there is room for more adoption is with advanced pattern recognition (APR) or other statistical modeling methods or platforms to address turbine and site performance optimization.”

For industry players looking to fill gaps in the market or streamline costs, Navigant Research recommends wind turbine manufacturers continue to sell and invest in data analytics. Third-party data analytics vendors should stress their independence and target opportunities at the turbine pre-end-of-warranty stage. Wind plant owners not already doing so should test and evaluate the data analytics offerings and big wind plant owners should consider acquiring in-house assets to maximize savings.

The report, , focuses on data collection within the wind power industry as asset owners seek to improve wind plant performance and manage and minimize O&M costs. The study analyzes the data collection strategies of anonymized wind plant owners surveyed as part of Navigant’s Generation Knowledge Service (GKS) Wind Benchmarking service. The GKS peer group includes 9.3 GW from a variety of turbine models, plant sizes, ages, and O&M contract types. The results show what type of data is collected, how it is usually collected, and where there is room for data analytics growth. It also examines how and when CMS and PA platforms are being deployed in the marketplace for new and operational turbines. Recommendations are provided on how wind turbine OEMs, wind plant owners and other stakeholders should explore the growing addressable market for data collection and analysis platforms. 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, Capturing and Maximizing Wind Power Plant Data, 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.

While today’s plug-in electric vehicle market is concentrated in home charging, energy demand is expected to shift more toward fleet, private, and public charging in the next decade

A new report from examines the global market for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging equipment, providing forecasts for equipment sales, segmented by region, technology, access type, and location type, through 2027.

By the end of 2018, over 5 million PEVs are expected to be on roads globally, and by 2027, that number is expected to increase more than 10 times. A PEV population of this size will require nearly as many charging ports, and these ports will need to be more capable and sophisticated, offering higher power capacities and smarter technology to relay vehicle and charger information. : According to a new report from , annual revenue for sales and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment is expected to grow from $6.5 billion in 2018 to over $36 billion in 2027.

“The focus in the market is on increasing charging speed, with the rollout of ultra-fast chargers just getting underway, however, equally important developments are emerging in vehicle-grid integration and load management technologies,” says Scott Shepard, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “These technologies seek to further improve the business case for plug-in vehicles through energy cost reduction and increase the number of chargers commercial property owners can add to parking infrastructure without additional investments to expand building electrical infrastructure.”

According to the report, the current PEV market is heavily skewed toward home charging, however, over the next 10 years, PEV energy demand will likely shift more toward fleet, private, and public chargers. The market is also expected to see major investments from automakers, utilities, energy companies, and governments during the next few years, but for the long term, viable business cases will need to be developed for each charging segment.

The report, , analyzes the global market for PEV charging equipment sales across four major use cases: home charging, private charging, fleet charging, and public charging. The study covers the major drivers for the charging market and analyzes the potential uptake of alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), and wireless EV supply equipment. Global market forecasts for charging equipment sales, segmented by region, technology, access type, and location type, extend through 2027. The report also assesses the key emerging market and technology trends and 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, EV Charging Equipment 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.

“Solar Solar everywhere” It is the only word that echoes around every nation’s power sector, and the bandwagon for India also remains the same. The government of India has announced the ambitious target of 100 GW power addition through solar power projects, which will further lead to power for all in a sustainable approach in the nation. But the matter of concern is its reliability. Various developed European nations have already implemented the sustainable green energy approach, but they still are facing problems with grid stability, energy storage, and reliable power for all. In order to maintain the grid frequency, huge curtailment of power is done in the countries relying on renewable energy. So let’s see the approach planned by the Indian government for its power sector

As digital transformation proliferates, new solutions offer capabilities beyond energy management

A new report from examines the global intelligent buildings market in the era of digital transformation, providing forecasts, broken out by segment, subsegment, sector, and region, through 2027.

Digital transformation is redefining business processes across industries, including in the intelligent buildings industry, where IT infrastructure, data, and analytics can combine to translate a complete data profile of facilities, systems, and operations into business metrics. Additionally, this foundation can become a platform in the Energy Cloud—a transfer point for data, information, or energy that creates new value and revenue for owners and partners. : According to a new report from , revenue for intelligent building solutions is expected to grow from approximately $15.1 billion in 2018 to $67.5 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1 percent.

“The path forward for owners looking to transform their commercial facilities into intelligent building platforms requires a shift in strategy and processes, investment in technologies and services, and an understanding of opportunities that can result from digital transformation,” says Casey Talon, research director with Navigant Research. “There are enormous opportunities for technology and services partners to build business as strategic partners.”

According to the report, today’s customers are looking for solutions that do more than just provide energy management. In response, building energy management systems (BEMSs) that were once the foundation of the market are being rebranded, building management systems (BMSs) that once delivered the technical details of automation and controls are being integrated with greater analytics capabilities and remote accessibility, and the rapid evolution of technology under the umbrella of Internet of Things (IoT) is introducing lower cost alternatives to help engage new customers and deepen the capabilities of existing intelligent building systems.

The report, , analyzes the global intelligent buildings market and explores the evolution of legacy solutions in the era of digital transformation. The study assesses the outlook for enabling hardware, software, and services for intelligent buildings and investigates the levers that will determine winners on the supply side and motivate investment on the demand side. Global market forecasts, broken out by segment, subsegment, sector, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines the key technologies related to intelligent building solutions, 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, Intelligent Buildings 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.

Savings in operations costs and access to previously unavailable energy services is driving market growth across the residential and commercial and industrial sectors

A new report from analyzes the global market for off-grid distributed energy resources (DER) technologies and provides a summary of innovative uses and business models, along with forecasts, through 2027.

Compared to traditional pure diesel generator sets (gensets), off-grid DER solutions are becoming an attractive option to power remote locations or geographic areas without grid access. The market for off-grid DER began developing in the 1990s, and today, declines in the manufacturing costs of solar PV, energy storage systems, and power electronics are encouraging further growth. : According to a new report from , the global market for off-grid DER implementation is expected to total approximately $350 billion between 2018 and 2027, with most deployments taking place in South-Saharan Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.

“While it might seem that the growth of off-grid DER will not have an impact in the developed world, outside of difficult-to-reach locations, the lessons traditional players can learn from their off-grid counterparts are many,” says Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Off-grid companies have learned to embrace technology, to be nimble, and above all, to bring value by offering products that are a priority for their customers.”

According to the report, in the economics-driven commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, integrated off-grid DER solutions offer significant savings in operations and maintenance costs versus pure fuel-based solutions. In the residential sector, off-grid DER solutions are expected to soar thanks to a significant population lacking access to energy services.

The report, , provides a quantitative analysis of the global market for off-grid DER technologies and a summary of innovative uses and business models. The study focuses on the deployment of integrated DER solutions in the C&I, residential, and personal/untethered segments, including microgrids, pico systems, solar home systems (SHSs), nanogrids, and transport applications. Global market forecasts, segmented by region, application, system type, and segment, extend through 2027. The report also examines the telecommunications, resource extraction, and multi-user off-grid electrification applications for off-grid DER. 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, Off-Grid DER Innovations, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: Stefanie Bradtner

+49.221.270.70.142

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

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.

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

# # #

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

The prices attained in recent auctions are influenced by several factors

The importance of quality infrastructure across the solar value chain

Various Instruments For India’s Clean Energy Support Measures 

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Credits: IRENA REMap India Paper 2017

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

# # #

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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