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Nine water companies have joined with twenty NGOs to create shared principles for sustainable water.

Yesterday, the companies, which are part of an organisation called Blueprint for Water, signed an agreement intending for the shared principles to deliver “more effective joint working” on environmental and wildlife issues, including more on the ground projects.

They have committed to tackling pollution and working with farmers on more environmentally-friendly agricultural techniques.

Hannah Freeman of Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Chair of Blueprint for Water, said: “This is the first time water companies and nature charities have agreed how to work together ahead of business plans being delivered. With our waters under increasing pressure it is essential that businesses and environmentalists are more joined-up in acting as their guardians.”

This news follows water companies submitting business plans to Ofwat, the body that is responsible for the economic regulation of the privatised water in England and Wales, in a bid to be more sustainable.

Notably, Thames Water, the UK’s biggest water and wastewater service provider, has pledged to invest £11.7 billion to improve infrastructure, service and efficiency over the 2020-25 period.

Steve Robertson, Thames Water Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our primary role, to provide resilient water and waste services to customers across London and the Thames Valley, touches the environment on multiple levels every single day. When planning our investment it’s hugely important to work closely with environmental groups to limit the impact we have and ensure we sustain a thriving environment for future generations.”

Today, the Zero Emissions Vehicle Summit, held in Birmingham, will be attended by PM, Theresa May.

Here, a £106 million funding boost will be announced for the research and development of zero emission vehicles.

The Prime Minister is expected to say: "I want to see Britain, once again, leading from the front and working with industries and countries around the world to spearhead change. That is why I have set this country an ambitious mission. To put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero-emission by 2040."

At the Zero Emissions Vehicle Summit, the new Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce, which was announced as a part of the ‘Road to Zero’ strategy in July, will be discussed. This is the first time that the energy and automotive industry has been brought together by the Taskforce.

Jesse Norman MP, Electric Vehicles Minister, said: “Bringing together government, automotive and energy sectors will help to ensure that Electric Vehicles become an integrated part of the UK energy system, and infrastructure upgrades can be planned in an efficient and sustainable way.”

The summit will gather leading transport visionaries in one place and provide an opportunity to meet and discuss important issues with senior government representatives from around the world.

However, the announcement has been met with some backlash. Speaking ahead of the summit, Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s chief executive, said:  “We can’t afford to wait until 2040 for most new vehicles to be zero-emission. Pollution from road traffic is a major cause of air pollution and climate change – industry must be challenged to clean up its act far sooner.”

Photo Credit: Alexander Popov

Sony have joined the RE100 in a pledge of sustainability.

On Monday, the company announced that they aim to be 100 per cent renewable across all of their business sites by 2040.

Sony’s European sites have already achieved this goal, but by 2040 they promise the same globally.

They want to install solar panels at their manufacturing sites in Japan and Thailand. Japan sites have the largest amount of energy consumption and therefore there will be a focus within the country to work directly with RE100 to ensure the target is met.

Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO of Sony Corporation, said: “For many years, Sony has been an industry leader in actively addressing climate change and other environmental issues. As part of our “Road to Zero” initiative to eliminate our environmental footprint, we are pleased to join RE100 and contribute to the realization of a society that operates on fully renewable energy.”

Shiro Kambe, Sony Corporate Executive Officer, said: “Switching to green energy will temporarily raise costs, but it will add more value to our business.”

The RE100 are a group of over 140 members worldwide who are committed to promoting and utilising renewable energy.

Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said: “We are expected to welcome Sony aboard RE100. From PlayStation and image sensors to consumer electronics, music, and film, this is the largest entertainment and technology business in the world stepping up and switching its entire operations to 100% renewable electricity.”

Sony join tech giants Facebook and Apple who have also pledged to run on 100 per cent renewable energy in a bid to go green.

Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo

A supply ship has set sail in San Francisco in an attempt to clean up the ocean.

The ambitious project aims to clean up 50 per cent of the 80, 000 tonnes of plastic located in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch within five years.

The boat, which departed on September 8th 2018, is now on its way to a test stop, for a 2-week trial before continuing its journey toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 1,200 nautical miles offshore. Some of the plastic in the garbage patch dates back to the sixties.

The Ocean Cleanup, developed by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, is working with Maersk to complete this journey. Mr Slat, said: "The main mission is to show that it works, and hopefully then in a few months from now, the first plastics will arrive back into port, which means that it becomes proven technology.”

Once the plastic has been collected from the ocean it will be brought back for recycling and then sold, the profits will then fund future Ocean Cleanup projects.

Steen S. Karstensen, CEO of Maersk, said: “We are truly proud to be supporting the installation of the Ocean Cleanup’s first system. Large towing operations have been a part of Maersk’s Service Supply’s work-scope for decades. It is rewarding to see that our marine capabilities can be utilised within new segments, and to support solving such an important environmental issue.”

Global plastic production has risen steadily since the 1950’s, this has resulted in a number of problems for our oceans and, in particular, marine life.

This news follows the start of the United Nations ocean treaty conference, set to create policy for the high seas over the next two years.

To find out more about the Ocean Cleanup click here.

Photo Credit: The Ocean Cleanup/ Pierre Augier

Australian National University (ANU) analysis has found that Australia is on its way to running on 100 per cent renewable energy by early 2030s.

Renewable energy in Australia is on the rise, this could also result in them reaching the half way goal of 50 per cent renewable energy, set at the Paris Agreement, by 2025.

The country is set to install over 10 gigawatts of new wind and solar power in 2018 and 2019. As a result, if the rate of growth in maintained, they report found that they should reach their target of running on 100 per cent renewable energy by early 2030s.

Australia had a record breaking last year, adding 2,200 megawatt capacity of renewable energy. However, the people who produced the report, although convinced that technology and the renewable energy industry will be able to meet the goal, have voiced concerns over how politics will interfere.

Recently, the newly appointed Australian Government have come under pressure from environmentalists about the fate of the country’s climate policy.

Professor Andrew Blakers, ANU Research School of Engineering, said: “Australia is installing wind and solar PV at a faster per capita rate than nearly every other country.”

Professor Ken Baldwin, ANU Energy Institute director, said: “Australian industry is proving it’s not difficult or expensive to make deep and rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. All the evidence points to Australia’s capacity to be a renewable energy superpower, with all the economic and environmental benefits that come with that.”

This follows news that Queensland are on track to be 90 per cent renewable by 2030.

Global leaders have begun talks in New York this week to discuss the long-awaited UN ocean treaty, a decade in the making.

The intergovernmental conference to draft the first‑ever treaty to conserve and protect marine diversity on the high seas is of extreme importance because currently there is no global policy that protects our oceans.

Currently, 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year, 100,000 mammals die each year from this plastic pollution.

Professor Alex Rogers from Oxford University, who has provided evidence to inform the UN treaty process, said: “The half of our planet which is high seas is protecting terrestrial life from the worst impacts of climate change. Yet we do too little to safeguard that or to protect the life within the ocean which is intrinsic to our collective survival.”

There are several organisations such as Parley for the Oceans and Outerknown that are raising awareness for the protection of marine life however, they do not have global power. Recently, influential figures such as the Swimmer, Lewis Pugh, have directed awareness at the government to protect our oceans.

Dr Sandra Schoettner, Greenpeace's global ocean sanctuaries campaign, speaking from outside the UN said: ““The fate of our oceans is in the hands of everyone in these negotiations. It's no exaggeration to say that the governments meeting today are making history as we speak. It is urgent they create a strong ocean treaty which allows us to create a global network of ocean sanctuaries.”

In 1982, the UN adopted the Convention of the Law of the Sea but the high seas were not included. Over the next two years the treaty is expected to provide and implement several proposes to protect the high seas.

Photo Credit: Greenpeace

This week is Zero Waste Week, a movement to encourage waste reduction.

Zero waste week started this Monday 4th of September 2018. It was founded in 2008 and since then has had a global reach of 56 million people.

The initiative is designed to involve the general public in a bid to reduce our waste habits, this year’s theme is ‘Plastic-Unwrapped’. Plastic waste is an ongoing problem that is threatening our oceans and marine life.

Currently, the average household wastes 20-30 per cent of the food they buy. Zero Waste Week aims to combat this. To support the campaign, all you have to do is sign up on their website to receive a newsletter with hints and tips on how to reduce your daily waste.

The movement, based in the UK, has participants from 72 countries. The website demonstrates the efforts made from people around the world to achieve zero waste.

The website said: “Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.”

Recently, global companies such as Coca Cola have pledged to reduce plastic waste. Zero Waste Weeks gives an opportunity for consumers to do the same.

The campaign has been promoted by some of the UK’s most powerful leaders. In a personally signed letter, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote: “Zero Waste Week is inspiring people around the world to dramatically reduce the waste they create for good. By sharing your own experiences as a family and suggesting simple ways people can recycle and reuse you are making it easy and fun for as many people as possible to get involved in your important campaign.”

Campaigners across the world have come out in force to promote the initiative, join the movement now at #zerowasteweek.

The cricket ground has introduced a number of measures to reduce plastic waste.

By installing water fountains and switching to reusable drinking vessels it has prevented roughly 690,000 pieces of plastic from being used at the venue.

This follows the year anniversary of its partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, with the goal to slash the amount of single-use plastic used at the cricket ground and become plastic free by 2020.

Part of the scheme involved handing out 25,000 Sky Ocean rescue-branded reusable water bottles to reduce the need for disposable plastic bottles. They have also created the hashtag - #PassOnPlastic.

Fiona Ball, Sky Ocean Rescue's head of responsible business, said: "Single-use plastic is a huge issue. Trillions of pieces of plastic are floating around our oceans, with another eight million tons introduced to this ecosystem every year. It never decomposes and will remain there forever. Working with the Kia Oval team has not only helped us bring this issue to life for an army of sports fans but also helped them make simple life changes that collectively make a big difference."

Due to efforts from the surrey cricket ground, after this weekend’s final Test between England and India, 20,000 fewer plastic pint glasses will be taken to landfill.

Richard Gould, Surrey County Cricket Club's chief executive, said: "Increasing the sustainability of our operation is a major priority at the Kia Oval as we work towards our goal of becoming single-use plastic free by 2020. It is a difficult journey, involving work in every area of our business and initiatives like this with Sky Ocean Rescue really help move us in the right direction."

To find out more about Sky Ocean Rescue click here.  

Photo Credit: Sky Ocean Rescue

Tesco, along with several other companies, have joined forces to implement a clean van scheme.

16 of the UK’s largest fleet companies are set to launch the Clean Van Commitment, led by Global Action Plan, to signal their promise to the environment.

They have pledged to invest £40 million in rolling out zero emission models over the next two years as part of plans to replace 18,000 diesel vans over the next decade. The Commitment also involves switching a proportion of their fleet, 2,400 vehicles, to electric by 2020.

Research from the University of Oxford and the University of Bath has shown that the total health cost to the UK from vans is £2.2 billion each year. This has created a demand for tougher regulations on transport pollution.  

Jesse Norman, Roads Minister and MP, said: “The government's Road to Zero strategy outlines its intention to lead the world in the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles - delivering significant environmental, health and economic benefits.”

Electric vehicles in the UK are on the rise, with 7,500 being sold in August. Just this week, Mercedes-Benz unveiled their new production car, EQC.

Bex Bolland, Head of Air Quality at Global Action Plan said:  “Today marks a significant moment for the UK’s van sector. For the first time, we know just how quickly van fleet leaders aim to adopt electric vehicles. Their collective purchasing commitments show manufacturers that demand is thriving, and will help energy sector, local authority and central government planning. These 16 fleets will pave the way for the national fleet of 4 million vans to become zero emission, significantly improving the air we all breathe.”

Carlsberg are set to replace their multi-pack packaging in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

The plastic pack rings, known in the industry as hi-cones or yokes, are used to hold together multi-packs of canned drinks. However, they have become a real problem in contributing to ocean plastic pollution.

The Danish brewer are proposing to, instead, use recyclable glue that will hold the cans together but are designed to audibly snap when pulled apart.

This new ‘Snap Packs’ are proposed to reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes a year which is the equivalent to 60 million plastic bags. They will be available across Tesco’s in the UK from September.

Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group, said: “It’s an important day for Carlsberg. We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and help tackle climate change. We always strive to improve and today’s launch clearly shows our ambition to follow in our founders footsteps towards a better tomorrow.”

Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General in WWF Denmark, said: “Our wildlife is drowning in plastic – and the problem is unfortunately growing considerably. That is why we consider it huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging.”

Carlsberg have previously pledged to become more sustainable with their ‘ZERO’ goal which involves an ambitious target to achieve zero carbon emissions at their breweries by 2030.

They have also committed to reducing their water usage by 50 per cent by 2030. This is significant as water is the main ingredient in beer.

The company join other global businesses, including Lego and Walkers, in a bid to reduce plastic pollution.  

Today, Burberry have announced they will no longer destroy products that are unsalable in a bid to become more sustainable.

Last year, it was reported that the company destroyed over £28.6 million worth of unsold products to protect its brand. This followed a massive backlash from environmentalists prompting Burberry to respond.

Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer at Burberry, said: “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products.”

The sustainability of the textile industry has been long debated, and the idea of renting clothing has been introduced to reduce the large amount of waste produced.

Burberry said: “We already re-use, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”

The brand has teamed with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse which means that over the next five years 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts will be transformed into new products.

The high-end fashion company have also committed to stop using real fur. There will be no real fur in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry next month, and they will begin to phase out real fur products.

Fur in the fashion industry is beginning to diminish after continuous campaigns from animal-rights activists. Burberry join other global designers such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani who have also gone fur-free.

Burberry have set three targets to become sustainable by 2022; become carbon neutral and revalue waste, drive positive change through 100 percent of Burberry’s products and positively impact one million people.

A new, technology first, ‘spinning’ wind turbine has won the UK James Dyson award.

The O-Wind turbine was created by Nicolas Orellana, 36, and Yaseen Noorani, 24, both MSc students at Lancashire University.

The new design takes advantage of horizontal and vertical winds without requiring steering. This differs to traditional wind turbines which only capture wind travelling in one direction.

The turbine is of a spherical shape with a single axis of rotation going through it. Its dimensions and shape mean that it is very suitable for small-scale energy production by individual apartment dwellers.

The unique size and shape of the turbine mean that it can be placed in different types of environment compared to conventional turbines which require more space.

Mr Orellana said: “I’ve always been enthusiastic about helping people solving their problems in humanitarian and professional contexts. Sustainability is and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges for people around the globe, and it will require the commitment of us all to be solved. We expect the O-Wind to be a valuable contribution to help improving our chances of reaching sustainability one day.”

Wind power currently generates just 4 per cent of the world’s electricity but it has much more potential according to Mr Noorani.

The pair will receive £2,000 towards developing the project, production may take up to five years but the duo hope that the device can be scaled up to work on large structures such as the side of a building or balcony as this is where wind speeds are the highest.

Photo: Dyson. Cardboard prototype being tested in a real scenario at the Morecambe Bay, UK

Photo Credit: Dyson

The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The electricity sector attracted the largest share of energy investments in 2017, sustained by robust spending on grids, exceeding the oil and gas industry for the second year in row, as the energy sector moves toward greater electrification, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest review of global energy spending.

Electricity is quickly becoming the most important energy source of this century, not just due to growing demand for electricity from industrial, commercial, residential and institutional consumers but also due to rapid electrification of other sectors such as public, personal and commercial transport.

Southeast Asia requires a cost-effective energy solution that can be delivered to 650 million people, many of whom live on remote islands and in mountainous areas.

Any cap on solar power tariffs in future auctions could dampen free market sentiment and prove to be an Achilles heel for the plans of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to achieve the solar power capacity target of 100.00GW by FYE22, believes India Ratings and Research. 

While move’s to protect local industry, high import content in projects would jack up bid tariffs in the near term.

While move’s to protect local industry, high import content in projects would jack up bid tariffs in the near term.

Sungrow the Leading providers of PV Solar Inverter Company has opened its regional office in the Kolkata and also successfully organized road show technical seminar of the year 2018 with its unique mobile showroom to better understand solar system & its products.

Energy Storage has been getting a lot of attention lately – but why is it so important?

The world´s largest bifacial solar project was connected as part of a 100 MW installation end of 2017 in Golmud in China´s western province of Qinghai.

PROJECT TEAM: EPC—Joule Energy, joule-energy.com; owner—Boviet Solar USA, bovietsolarusa.com; developer— Hecate Energy, hecateenergy.com

DESIGN & INSTALLATION LEAD: Corey Shalanski, senior PV engineer, Joule Energy

Solar projects are designed as per certain design principles.

Mr Vikash Vohra

Director - Sales & Marketing

SAPA



Challenges faced by company while managing supply chain?

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

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

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

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

Implementing TQM to maintain quality of the product?

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

How can companies ensure better quality management while manufacturing?

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

Quality is the standard of the organization.

 

Mr. Bhavesh Modi,

Director,

Sanelite

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

Mr. Manik Garg,

Director,

Saatvik Green Energy



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

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

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

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

How can companies ensure a better quality management while manufacturing?

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

TRENDS - STRUCTURE AND TRACKER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STORAGE AND SMART SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES

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

Pg18 Perspective Sujoy Ghosh Country Head First Solar India

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

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

Pg18 George John mytrah

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

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

Pg17 Perspective SIndicatum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impact Of GST On Solar Sector

Key Driving factors for falling bids in india

Funding into Battery Storage companies was up in the first half

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 second quarter (Q2) and first half (1H) of 2018. 

Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) in 1H 2018 was down with $2.4 billion raised compared to $2.8 billion raised in 1H 2017, a 14 percent decrease year-over-year (YoY). The decline in funding in 1H was due to lower funding activity in Smart Grid and Efficiency categories while funding increased in the Battery Storage sector. 

Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in 1H 2018 was 18 percent lower with $839 million compared to over $1 billion raised in 1H 2017. 

In Q2 2018, VC funding for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies decreased to $367 million in 27 deals compared to $472 million in 23 deals in Q1 2018. Funding amounts were 33 percent lower YoY compared to the $591 million raised in 24 deals in Q2 2017.

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ22018

Battery Storage

VC funding for Battery Storage companies in 1H 2018 was 12 percent higher with $539 million compared to the $480 million raised in 1H 2017. 

Top 5 VC deals in 1H 2018: $80 million raised by Stem, $71 million raised by sonnen, $65 million secured by Ionic Materials, Durapower’s $40 million, and $40 million raised by Ice Energy. A total of 34 VC investors participated in Battery Storage funding in 1H 2018. 

Announced debt and public market financing activity in the first half of 2018 ($142 million in five deals) was 10 percent higher compared to the first half of 2017 when $129 million was raised in nine deals. 

There were four announced Battery Storage project funding deals in 1H 2018 bringing in a combined $34 million compared to $5 million in two deals in 1H 2017. 

In 1H 2018 there were a total of eight (one disclosed) Battery Storage M&A transactions, compared to two transactions (one disclosed) in 1H 2017. There were four Battery Storage M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there were four Battery Storage M&A transactions in Q1 2018 and one transaction in Q2 2017. 

In the first halves of 2018 and 2017, there were two Battery Storage project M&A transactions each. There were two Battery Storage project M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there were no Battery Storage project M&A transactions in Q1 2018 and two transactions in Q2 2017. 

Smart Grid

VC funding for Smart Grid companies in 1H 2018 was 56 percent lower with $135 million compared to the $304 million raised in 1H 2017. 

In Q2 2018, VC funding for Smart Grid companies decreased to $60 million in four deals compared to $75 million in seven deals in Q1 2018. The funding amount was 57 percent lower YoY compared to $139 million raised in eight deals in Q2 2017. 

Top 5 VC deals in 1H 2018: $55 million raised by Smart Wires, $27 million raised by Bidgely, $20 million secured by Husk Power Systems, Mnubo’s $17 million, $6 million raised by Simple Energy. A total of 19 VC investors participated in Smart Grid funding in 1H 2018. 

Announced debt and public market financing for Smart Grid companies came to $1.3 billion in two deals in 1H 2018 compared to $9 million in one deal in 1H 2017. 

In 1H 2018 there were a total of five Smart Grid M&A transactions (all undisclosed), compared to 13 transactions (three disclosed) in 1H 2017. There were four Smart Grid M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there was one Smart Grid M&A transaction in Q1 2018 and six transactions in Q2 2017. 

Efficiency

VC funding for Energy Efficiency companies in 1H 2018 was 32 percent lower with $165 million compared to the $242 million raised in 1H 2017. 

In Q2 2018, VC funding for Efficiency companies decreased to $67 million in six deals compared to $98 million in four deals in Q1 2018. Funding amounts were 131 percent higher YoY compared to $29 million raised in six deals in Q2 2017. 

Top 5 VC deals in 1H 2018: $61 million and $36 million raised by ecobee in two separate deals, $27 million secured by Carbon Lighthouse, Redaptive’s $20 million, and $10 million received by Petros PACE Finance. A total of 20 VC investors participated in Energy Efficiency funding in 1H 2018. 

Announced debt and public market financing activity in the first half of 2018 ($212 million in two deals) was 88 percent lower compared to 1H 2017 when $1.7 billion was raised in nine deals. 

Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing deals in 1H 2018 came to $694 million in three deals compared to $668 million in same number of deals in 1H 2017. 

In 1H 2018 there were a total of three Efficiency M&A transactions (all undisclosed), compared to five transactions (two disclosed) in 1H 2017. There were two Efficiency M&A transactions in Q2 2018. By comparison, there was one Efficiency M&A transaction in Q1 2018 and Q2 2017 each. 

To get a copy of the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSGQ22018

 

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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The electricity sector attracted the largest share of energy investments in 2017, sustained by robust spending on grids, exceeding the oil and gas industry for the second year in row, as the energy sector moves toward greater electrification, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest review of global energy spending.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

The prices attained in recent auctions are influenced by several factors

The importance of quality infrastructure across the solar value chain

Various Instruments For India’s Clean Energy Support Measures 

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Credits: IRENA REMap India Paper 2017

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

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

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

Battery Storage

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

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

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

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

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

Smart Grid

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

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

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

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

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

Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Mercom Capital Group

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

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