One interesting development of the commercial solar industry boom that is currently under way in the U.S. is the numbers of professional investors getting involved with the sector. Over 60 percent of investors will invest in commercial solar and a staggering 83 percent of investors will make investment in solar a priority in the next five years, with one in five already having made commercial solar investment a priority in the same timeframe.
The findings are revealed today in the “2015 Solar Investment Index” from financial services firm Wiser Capital, which commissioned accredited research firm OnePoll to poll the views of corporate investors across the United States.
“We have known the demand for mid-scale solar investment was growing in the U.S and it’s clear the boom has in fact already begun,” said Nathan Homan, Executive Director, Wiser Capital. “We are certain that investment in solar for commercial businesses will soon be a mainstream venture because investors have new tools and resources at their disposal streamlining and clarifying the process.”
Confidence is high that solar energy will give a strong return on investment with 63 percent of corporate investors anticipating a high return. The movement in the market from major companies like Google, Apple and Telsa has added a sense of urgency for 46 percent of investors and adds to the finding that solar investment will soon be mainstream.
What’s been the Problem with Investment so Far?
The main obstacle holding back solar investment was the lack of standardization and policy among 46 percent of corporate investors. Difficulty accurately assessing the various risks of a solar investment has held 43 percent back. Almost one in three (31%) investors found it challenging to ascertain the viability of solar projects as individual investments.
“It has always been a notoriously difficult sector for investors to assess risk and prove investments viable without incurring incredibly high administrative costs,” Homan continued. “With our technology finally unlocking this new market segment, we are excited to see sustained and aggressive growth in the solar industry across the country.”
The Index found that 69 percent of investors would be more likely to invest in solar this year if there was an easier and standardized way to assess risk for a project, with another 54 percent likely to invest this year if there was an easier way to find solar partners.
Wiser’s technology and platform helps investors automate the transaction process for small and medium scale commercial projects. Its key features provide independent and interactive solar analytics, investment grade financial modeling, a risk rating system and a Wiser Solar Asset Rating (WSAR) Score. This score enables investors to calculate bankability and risk, reduce time and effort and provide standardization, transparency and education.