The amount is way higher than USD 9.6 billion worth of funding seen in 2013, according to global clean energy communications and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group.
     
The total corporate funding of USD 26.5 billion in 2014 includes venture capital/private equity, debt and public market financing.
     
Last year, public market financing jumped to USD 5.2 billion from USD 2.8 million in 2013. “In 2014, seven IPOs (Initial Public Offering) brought in more than USD 2 billion combined including, Vivint Solar, Scatec Solar, Thai Solar Energy and Sky Solar," Mercom said in its report.

The debt financing announced last year touched almost USD 20 billion as against around USD 6.2 billion seen in 2013. Also, global venture capital investments shot up to USD 1.3 billion last year compared to 2013 figure of USD 612 million.

Meanwhile, the overall value of corporate M&A activities in the solar segment totalled USD 4 billion spread across 116 deals in 2014. In the year-ago period, it was at USD 12.7 billion in 81 transactions.

“Consolidation activity continued among solar downstream companies with 57 transactions followed by manufacturers and equipment companies with 35 transactions," the report said.
     
Mercom Capital Group CEO Raj Prabhu said the big story coming out of 2014 was the revival of capital markets as solar companies were able to access funding through multiple avenues such as venture capital, public markets and IPOs.
     
The solar sector has come a long way from being perceived as a speculative high risk investment to attracting investors based on low risk attractive dividend yields, he noted.

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