Spanish green energy startup Holaluz has announced it will float on Spain’s Alternative Equity Market (MAB), saying it is looking for €30m in capital to take advantage of “huge opportunity” in Spain’s solar market.
Holaluz, which installs solar panels and sells 100% renewable electricity to homes, is now valued at €160m, with shares going on sale next Friday at a price of €7.75 per share.
The startup said the announcement was a sign of the times in Spain’s green energy market, where a recent change to the law has opened up a potential goldmine for companies providing solar panel installations to homes and small businesses.
“We've been wasting the last 10 years, but we see it as a huge opportunity ahead of us,” said Carlota Pi, cofounder and executive president of Holaluz, referring to the so-called “Sun Tax”, which was repealed in October 2018.
The law, which taxed people who wanted to resell unused solar energy back into the grid, slowed solar installations to a near standstill in a country that enjoys one of the sunniest climates in Europe.
Since its repeal, Spain has connected more solar to the grid in the first nine months of 2019 than in the previous 10 years combined, and it’s this opportunity that’s behind Holaluz’s decision to go public.
“Soon we are going to be a well-capitalised company and we will be able to implement this business plan of achieving 50,000 installations by the end of 2023,” said Pi. “Things [that] haven’t happened in past 10 years started happening in October 2018. That's why we started this business line of putting solar panels on our customers’ rooftops.”
Expecting more competitors
Holaluz currently shares the home installation market with the La Rioja-based Solarbox, but Pi believes that Holaluz is in a better position to benefit from the regulatory changes.
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“According to the data that's been shared with us from the solar panel providers, we are already leading this market in terms of new installations,” she said.
She adds that she is yet to see many new entrants in the installation market, saying that Holaluz’s base of existing retail customers and brand recognition (the company has been selling renewable energy to consumers since 2010) are essential ingredients to success.
“We haven't seen a race because there are not many brands or companies that have those two crucial assets to take profit from this new opportunity. Even though we expect them to come, of course.”
Catching up with Europe
Holaluz estimates that Spain currently has 10,000 homes generating their own solar power, compared with 800,000 in the UK and 1.5m in Germany.
The company’s initial public offering (IPO), said Pi, will contribute to getting Spain up to speed with its European neighbours.
“It's a super exciting time for us because we are going public at the end of this month so we will have the resources for a business plan that will really connect one million people to green energy over the next four years,” she said.
“It's about how to get aligned with the rest of Europe and with the rest of first-world countries. At the end of the day we are just talking about taking profit from what is one of the most important natural resources all over the world, which is the sun.”