What’s next for the renewable energy market?

Green energy is already a trillion-dollar market, with plenty more growth predicted. Here’s what you need to know.

The energy sector is one of the most vital for modern life. Energy powers our society — our homes, industries, schools, hospitals — and we would literally be in the dark without it.

However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that reliance on fossil fuels for the world’s ever-increasing energy needs is unsustainable. We are poisoning and depleting the very environment that sustains us at an alarming rate, a situation that humanity had not anticipated at the start of the Industrial Revolution. But now that we are aware of the need for cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions, we can devise new ways of benefitting from natural environmental resources without destroying them. The focus is shifting to renewable energy.

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A sector ripe for investing

While the energy sector has been part of the investment world from its earliest days, the shift to a cleaner means of sustainable energy production brings with it a myriad of new financial opportunities. According to recent analysis, the global renewable energy market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% and top $1.9 trillion by 2026 (Source: Facts & Factors, March 2021). New technologies are in accelerated development, once prohibitive costs are dropping, and governments worldwide are increasing their funding — giving investors good reason to believe that the renewable energy market holds excellent earnings potential in years to come. As is generally true, early adopters willing to invest for the long term in this emerging sector stand to gain the most.

5 top renewable energy stocks to consider right now

Sunrun Inc. (RUN)
Based in sunny California, Sunrun provides homeowners with clean, affordable solar energy solutions installed on their rooftops. The company is involved in the design, development, installation, and maintenance of residential solar energy systems throughout the United States. Recently, Morgan Stanley highlighted Sunrun as a “compelling value” and predicted the stock could skyrocket as high as $86 within a year.

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Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd (0968.HK)
Xinyi is a well-established global solar glass manufacturer focused on the development and production of glass products for solar energy systems. The company has multiple solar glass production lines in three manufacturing bases, located in China and Malaysia. Xinyi Solar reported an attributable profit of $588 million for 2020, representing a year-on-year growth of nearly 90%.

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Enel Power Company (ENEL.MI)
Founded in 1962 and based in Rome, Enel SpA is an international utility company whose operations include the generation, transportation, and distribution of power resources, as well as the management and maintenance of power plants, including thermal and nuclear plants. In December 2020, Enel SpA signed an agreement with Weltmeister, boosting electric vehicle exports. Recently Enel has commenced construction of a 30.88-MW solar park in Panama, expected to start feeding power into the local grid in December 2021, while commercial operation is set for February 2022.

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Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS.CO)
Vestas, based in Denmark, provides an alternative to solar energy, using another plentiful and replenishable natural resource: wind. Windmills have been used for centuries before  the invention of electricity, and are an excellent option especially in colder climates. Vestas has installed over 60,000 wind power turbines in more than 80 countries across five continents, claiming the highest market share of any company in the world.

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SunPower Corp. (SPWR)
SunPower, another Californian company, designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. In addition to serving a varied customer base, SunPower offers a wide range of services, including systems installation and serving third-party installers, energy storage, software and financing. Shares of the company are up around 500% over the past year.

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