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VC funding to wind power projects lower in 2012: Mercom

Posted on Jan 30, 09:28AM | UNI

Bangalore, Jan 29: Global Venture Capital funding in the wind sector was lower in 2012 at USD 315 million in 22 deals when compared to 2011, according to a report here

The report presented by Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm said among the 22 deals there were ten downstream companies (eight project developers, one EPC and one Operation and maintenance company). Ten turbine companies (mostly small wind turbine makers), one monitoring software and one airborne wind company also received funding

"While venture capital funding into new technology companies was sparse, it does not indicate a lack of innovation in the sector as a lot of large manufacturers with their own research and development (R and D) divisions spend millions of dollars to improve efficiencies and come up with new designs and innovations," said Raj Prabhu, managing partner of Mercom Capital Group

For a sector still dependent on subsidies, there is still a lot of room for investments in new designs and technologies that reduce costs and increase efficiencies, he added

The top deal in 2012 was USD 183 million raised by Element Power, a developer, owner and manager of wind and solar projects in the United States, South America and Europe. Other deals that made up the top five included USD 21.5 million raised by Mainstream Renewable Power, a developer of renewable energy and offshore wind projects, USD 20.2 million raised by ReGen Powertech, a wind turbine maker, USD 18.6 million raised by Leap Green Energy, an independent power producer, and USD 15.3 million raised by Trishe Developers, a wind power infrastructure company

Mercom tracked approximately USD 14 billion in 71 announced large-scale project funding deals in 2012. USD 4.2 billion in 22 deals came in the fourth quarter. In comparison, large-scale project funding announcements in 2011 came to approximately USD 11 billion in 52 deals

Top project funding investors in 2012 included Union Bank with seven deals, EBRD and KfW IPEX-Bank with six deals and JP Morgan and Rabobank with five deals apiece

There were 35 corporate acquisitions in the wind sector in 2012 compared to 17 in 2011. The acquired companies included 12 downstream companies, seven manufacturers, eight wind component companies, six service providers and two balance-of-system (BOS) companies