As the solar energy market continues to mature, more investments are pouring into the sector. The latest statistics from Bloomberg New Energy Finance show that investors continue to look to solar power as a leading technology in the clean energy sector. One area where growth is particularly strong is the middle market, a term for commercial projects that are bigger than residential deployment but not at utility scale.
In the second quarter of 2015, an impressive $41.9 billion was invested in the sector from both public and private sources, up 23 percent from the second quarter 2014. Growth was particularly strong in the U.S., as total investments in solar outpaced other green technology investment, growing to $9.3 billion in the 2015 second quarter, well ahead of the $7.4 billion in U.S. solar investments in the 2014 second quarter.
Growth continued in the middle market. Of the second quarter solar investments in the U.S., $20.4 billion went to projects of less than one megawatt, an increase of 29 percent over the second-quarter 2014 numbers. The growth is mainly driven by rooftop solar PV technology, as the U.S., Japan, China and several developing countries seeing improved cost-effectiveness in these projects.
There’s also increased need for project finance, as projects larger than 1 MW received $2.9 billion in the second quarter of 2015, up from $2.1 billion in the 2014 second quarter. As much as $3.6 billion in project financing went towards projects of less than 1 MW in the 2015 second quarter, well above the $2.5 billion in project finance from the 2014 second quarter, Forbes reports.
Recent policy developments also favor the solar industry. The White House recently announced it would continue its push for tougher greenhouse gas regulations on power plants. If implemented, these new regulations would reduce coal’s contribution to U.S. electrical generation to just 27 percent by 2030. These regulations would provide additional market incentive for utilities to rely on renewable energy to meet its electricity demand.
For solar builders looking to capitalize on the increased investment in solar, Vasari Energy can help developers and property owners navigate the complicated renewable energy environment in all parts of the U.S. If you have questions about solar power project finance, the professionals at Vasari Energy can provide expert guidance on a range of project finance and management issues on solar power projects for businesses and industries of all types and sizes.