Market uncertainties stemmed from the world's largest solar markets, as installations were capped and feed-in tariffs reduced.
Global corporate funding into the solar industry has reached $9.7 billion in 2018, according to a new report issued by consulting firm Mercom Capital Group.
The report analyses funding and merger and acquisition activities in the solar sector in which corporates invested $12.8 billion in 2017.
Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, said: "2018 was a year filled with uncertainties which started with Section 201 tariffs followed by an announcement from China that it was capping installations and reducing its feed-in-tariff.
"More bad news came from India which imposed safeguard duties on imports. Uncertainty stemming from the three largest solar markets in the world was reflected in equities of publicly-traded solar companies as well as fundraising activity during the year."
Other key report findings include:
- Global VC funding for the solar industry in 2018 fell 18% to $1.3 billion in 65 deals from $1.6billion in 99 deals in 2017.
- Public market financing in 2018 came to $2.3 billion in 21 deals compared to $1.7billion in 33 deals in 2017.
- Large-scale project funding in 2018 came to $14 billion in 182 deals versus $14 billion in 167 deals during 2017.
- 182 investors funded 15 GW of large-scale solar projects in 2018
- Top large-scale project investors included the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- A total of 82 solar merger and acquisition transactions were reached in 2018 compared to 72 transactions in 2017
"About 100 GW of large-scale projects have been acquired since 2010, a reflection of how far solar has come as an asset class. Quality solar projects are now a mature, attractive investment opportunity around the world,” reiterated Prabhu.