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Solar Acquisitions Doubled to Record $10.8 Billion

Solar Acquisitions Doubled to Record $10.8 Billion

The value of acquisitions of solar photovoltaic plants more than doubled to $10.8 billion in 2011 as developers sold projects to longer-term investors, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

A record 3.9 gigawatts of projects changed hands last year, up 122 percent from 2010, the London-based consultant said in a report published today. Subsidy cuts across Europe affecting new projects drove up demand for solar projects already under way.

The gains reflect efforts by developers to cash in on investments in projects that reaped the highest level of government-backed subsidies, which have been cut in the past year across Europe. Buyers were eager to tap guaranteed returns in many cases more than double the yields of the safest government bonds.

“The boom in solar PV in Spain and Italy, driven by unsustainable feed-in tariffs, left a pool of assets generating very attractive cash flows,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of New Energy Finance. Developers “are selling to longer-term investors with a lower cost of capital, who are happy with returns of between 5 percent and 15 percent.”

The most active market for acquisition was Italy, with 540 megawatts purchased, including 242 megawatts sold by Athens- based construction company Terna SA. The U.S. had the five biggest deals by capacity, all for solar parks under construction.

Worldwide, 2.8 gigawatts of the sales last year consisted of finished or partly-completed projects, while 1.1 gigawatts were sites with permits where work hadn’t begun.

Buyers’ valuations of photovoltaic projects have fallen by about 44 percent from their peak in 2008. That year, global average sales values were 6.4 million euros per megawatt ($8 million), compared with 3.6 million euros a megawatt in 2011.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg

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EU Raises Concern That UK, France Won't Meet Renewables Goal

Alex Morales and Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg

The European Commission raised concern that the U.K. and France may not meet their 2020 renewable energy targets, saying the two countries should examine whether they’re doing enough to reach the goals.

Solar panels and wind turbines

SunEdison Raises $403 Million for TerraForm to Buy Wind, Solar

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg SunEdison Inc., the best-performing U.S. solar company, raised $402.5 million to help buy renewable energy plants in emerging markets, and then purchased more than 2 gigawatts of wind and solar projects in Central America ...

C&I Solar Sector Could See Huge Growth in Next Few Years

Andrew Burger, Contributor Investments in commercial and industrial (C&I) solar energy projects (50kW-2MW) by U.S. corporations is poised to soar, according to a new market research report commissioned by Santa Barbara-based Wiser Capital. More ...
Solar plant and wind turbines

Is Utility-Scale Solar Growth Economically Viable?

Philip Wolfe, Wiki-Solar The recent growth in utility-scale solar has been explosive in relative terms. Because the start point was so low however, this still represents a small proportion of global electricity generation — about one third of 1 pe...


Volume 18, Issue 3


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