U.S. Renewable M&A Sees Warming Trend
Deal making heats up amid rapid growth in distributed solar generation and strong wind development pipeline
What a difference a year makes in the mood and momentum of the renewable energy sector. Despite fears of a slowdown in 2012 due to low power prices and competition from domestic natural gas, 2013 generally turned out to be a good year for developers and financiers. While there were only 1,084 megawatts (MW) of wind installations during 2013, extension of the production tax credit for wind at the end of 2012, which was modified to qualify projects that began construction by December 31, 2013, created a strong development pipeline that will likely spur strong deal activity over the next two years (2014–2015).
On the solar side, the impetus for continued growth came from an unexpected direction. While utility-scale development marched onward, distributed solar took off, finding legs of its own in the residential market, and to a lesser, but still notable, extent among commercial and industrial customers. Unlike utility scale solar development, this distributed solar activity was not driven by a need to fulfill state renewable portfolio standards: Instead, it was driven by the “power of the people,” many of whom now see solar as a financially and environmentally appealing alternative to the current offerings from their electricity providers.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the renewable energy sector is expected to remain strong over the next two years due to these factors and others, particularly the advent of new funding mechanisms and financial structures. Our newest report from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions, U.S. Renewable M&A Sees Warming Trend, explores these trends. It also provides an overview of 2013 U.S. renewable M&A activity and drivers, policy and market developments, and an outlook for 2014 and beyond.
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