Editorial

Which European companies are the largest solar asset owners?

Highlights from Wood Mackenzie's global solar asset ownership ranking

We've recently released our ranking of the top global solar asset owners (excluding China), and it includes just one European company breaking into the top ten.

Italian renewable company Enel Green Power ranks fourth globally, with 2.21 GW of cumulative solar capacity installed. However, only a small portion of its assets are in Europe, with 83% of its capacity residing in the Americas

The European solar PV market is highly fragmented due to the large proportion of small-scale distributed assets installed by individual residential, commercial or industrial consumers. The level of fragmentation could decrease slightly, with close to 50% of new installations from 2019 to 2024 expected to come from >5 MW installations. That's up from 26% between 2013 and 2018.

So which companies are leading in Europe today?

Europe’s solar PV asset ownership landscape is dominated by infrastructure asset funds. The largest of these is Octopus, which largely holds assets in the UK acquired during its partnership with Lightsource (now Lightsource BP).

However, the largest solar asset owner in Europe is Enerparc - an independent, vertically-integrated independent power producer (IPP) focused on the German market. Sonnedix, another independent IPP,  also breaks into the European top 10.

Encavis is the largest listed asset owner in Europe, with over 100 MW of assets under ownership in Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

Institutional investors also play an important role in Europe's solar market, though the evolution of the market toward riskier merchant deals could change that. 

Such assets may be less attractive to risk-averse investors. We could see a greater role for large utilities, which will be more comfortable with exposure to wholesale power price risks.

Global Solar PV asset ownership report and database 2019 includes the ranking of top solar asset owners globally, by region and by country. Complete the form on the top of the page to get the free brochure and see the top 15 global (excluding China) solar asset owners.