GOGLA, Solar Energy Association Marks 2020 With USD 316 Million Investment

GOGLA, the global association for off-grid solar energy, which delivers off-grid electricity products and services, has announced that the total investment into the off-grid solar sector in 2020 accounted for USD 316 million, four million higher than 2019.

GOGLA reasons out the seven key elements for their achievements. It has released an Investment Database which shows and explains the rise in investments of the company in 2020. The association took the news to Twitter and tweeted, “We just launched the GOGLA Investment Database!

Data shows that the total investment into the offgrid solar sector in 2020 amounted to USD 316 million – four million higher than 2019.”

 

Their capital flow was stable throughout the year. This signifies investor confidence in the industry’s business model and ability to deliver impact. As one investor stated, “The sector is still standing, and the pre-COVID optimism still stands”. However, the association thinks that the amount of funding addressed to off-grid companies needs to grow at least twofold per year across equity, debt, and grant funding. While investment in the industry has been steady for the last five years, it is not yet showing the trends that are required to achieve universal energy access in 2030.

The  Database reveals that the funding concentration has experienced a massive drop in comparison to the last five years. The top 10 deals in 2020 represent 68 percent of the total funding received by companies, compared to these deals representing 96 percent of total funding in 2015.

The number of organizations receiving at least one investment has gone up from 49 in 2019 to 78 in 2020. Out of those 78 companies, 46 were accessing funding for the first time, most of which have been grants.

GOGLA’s investment database also noted that the total volumes of debt commitments in 2020 hit USD 205.7 million, a 19 percent increase from 2019. The level of investments from crowdfunding platforms has been maintained in 2020, showing consolidation as a debt mechanism and representing 10 percent of the total debt commitments in the sector.

Besides, in contrast to the resilience of debt funding, equity volumes have shrunk by an alarming 46 percent compared to 2019. This is concerning as equity is essential for companies’ continued growth. The number of equity transactions has increased to 28 from 17 in 2019, and 15 of these transactions are classified as convertible debt.

COVID-19 has proven that the sector can have a significant contribution towards the electrification of rural health facilities, with some grants awarded for this purpose for the first time. However, the association’s grant volumes have increased significantly in 2020. Grant capital was awarded to help companies enter new markets, try new business models and products, and fund early-stage companies.

The association also reveals that the Investment Deals in West Africa totaled USD 142 million compared to USD 70 million in East Africa. This is indicative of the expansion of off-grid solar companies towards the region.

In the long term to 2030, GOGLA notes that the amount of funding the sector needs must be at least 11 billion USD. This funding will be essential for companies to bridge financing gaps before their next fundraising rounds.

“To date, many companies have had to weather the COVID-19 storm without access to such relief funding. We call on them to help us build on these foundations to develop even more innovative financing support for the sector, and help lift millions of the world’s poorest people out of energy poverty as we recover better,” the association says.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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