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Deals involving North American wind and solar energy projects were not only the most valuable but the most plentiful in 2012, according to a report from accounting, tax and advisory firm CohnReznick.

The report, "Green Energy 2013: Renewable Energy M&A Activity in the Americas," focuses on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the renewable energy sector in the Americas, based on a survey of more than 800 senior executives in the renewable energy industry worldwide.

The report found that the U.S. is by far the most attractive country for investors with almost 45% of survey respondents planning to invest or acquire renewable energy sector in the U.S. during the next 18 months, more than double the number targeting Germany, the No. 2 target.

Globally, a total of 591 acquisitions valued at $37.8 billion were announced in 2012, a 58% increase by number on the 375 deals totaling $42.1 billion announced in 2011.

Among other highlights, the survey concluded:
  • The Americas accounted for 42% of the total value of mergers and acquisitions activity last year;
  • Wind and solar were the most active sectors, accounting for a combined 78% of the total value of all transactions;
  • Solar is the most attractive sector for North American survey respondents. Some 63% of survey respondents are targeting investments or acquisitions in solar photovoltaics, more than the number targeting biomass (45%), onshore wind (41%) or biofuels (39%);
  • Renewable energy projects are now cost competitive with newly built fossil fuel power plants in many Latin American countries; and
  • Canada is now the fifth most attractive country globally for renewable energy investment, showing a significant increase of survey respondents who are targeting Canada for clean energy investments than last year.

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