Solar projects hit ‘record’ high in 2011

Solar power projects worth around $10.8billion (£6.9billion) were bought by investors last year, according to a new report. The ‘Solar Portfolio Hunters: Focus On The Acquisition And Valuation Of Solar […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Solar power projects worth around $10.8billion (£6.9billion) were bought by investors last year, according to a new report.

The ‘Solar Portfolio Hunters: Focus On The Acquisition And Valuation Of Solar Assets’ study, which looked at deals from 2006 to 2011, found the capacity purchased was up by 122% from the previous year.

The report showed 3.9GW projects were bought last year, with Italy having the most active market as 540MW of projects were purchased.

The study published claims utilities and infrastructure funds chose to buy already-permitted or already-operating projects as there are fewer opportunities to start PV projects from scratch due to financial crisis.

Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which published the research said: “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 and still owned by developers, manufacturers and contractors. These firms have a high cost of capital and many would prefer to recycle what funds they have into new projects.”

The average price of a solar PV worldwide has fallen by three quarters since 2008, including a drop of nearly 50% last year.