Research and consulting firm Mercom Capital Group has released a new report revealing the world’s top ten large-scale solar PV developers.
Companies that qualified for inclusion in the report must have projects in at least two countries.
The top 10 large-scale solar developers account for 33GW of operational projects globally. For under construction and awarded (contracted) projects, the top large-scale solar developers accounted for 28.7GW of proposed capacity globally.
India-based Adani Green Energy has emerged as the world’s top solar developer with a total capacity of 12.3GW.
GCL New Energy (7.1GW), a Hong Kong-listed independent solar power producer, ranked second, followed by Tokyo-based renewable energy developer, SB Energy (7GW).
The Asia-Pacific region made up 52.4% of developers’ total capacity, followed by the Americas at 42.1% and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at 5.5%.
In contrast, the largest number of solar projects by top developers are in EMEA with 41.6%, followed by the APAC at 29.9%, and the Americas at 28.4%.
Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, said: “Top developers are expanding [their] presence in mature markets in pursuit of policy certainty, steady returns, and lower risk. They are also chasing growth in emerging markets, trying to lay the groundwork and tap into the enormous future potential these regions represent, despite the risks and ultra-competitive auctions.”
The top developer with the largest operational large-scale solar capacity was GCL New Energy with 7.1GW. Enel Green Power was the second-largest player in terms of operational capacity with 4.2GW, followed by First Solar, SB Energy, Lightsource bp, ENGIE, Brookfield Renewable, Adani Green, AES Corporation, and Enerparc.
In terms of under construction and awarded capacity, Adani Green came out on top with 10.1GW of projects. SB Energy was the second-largest player with 3.4GW, followed by Invenergy.
The large-scale solar development market is extremely fluid, with project portfolios continually churning. Several of the companies included in this report were in the middle of M&A transactions at the time of publication. Attractive projects are in great demand, especially in mature markets.
M&A activity for large-scale solar projects has been extremely active with about 26GW of projects changing hands in 2019. In the last ten years, over 120GW of large solar projects have been acquired. Developers are recycling capital to invest in new projects and realize quicker returns.
Large-scale solar auctions around the world are now the primary mode of procurement. Costs are dropping continually, driving demand, and solar is now the cheapest source of energy in many parts of the world.