The value of deals involving renewable energy companies soared by 40 per cent to a record $53.5bn (£34bn) worldwide last year, as the Fukishima disaster prompted a move away from nuclear power.
The rise was driven by the solar power industry, where the value of transactions jumped by 56 per cent to $15.8bn, to account for almost one third of takeovers, according to the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Wind and hydropower were also big deal drivers.
The jump in deal value was also influenced by consolidation among solar panel manufacturers in the West as they struggled to compete with low-cost Chinese producers.
The total value of renewable energy deals in Europe last year jumped by 80 per cent to $30bn – despite a 6 per cent decline in transaction volume – as billion-dollar acquisitions became increasingly common.