As oil prices rise, traditional energy companies will no doubt dominate the energy sector, but alternative energy is here to stay, and the companies on this list have the potential to make investors some money in 2017.

The stock charts on each of these companies show positive developments that could create upward momentum for the year. All figures are current as of August 11, 2017.

1. NRG Yield Inc.

NRG Yield (NYLD) is not a pure alternative energy play, but it does own and operate renewable energy assets. The company was founded in 2012.

This stock has been forming an upward price channel since February 2017. It closed out 2016 on a down note, but has been rising since then.

  • Avg. Volume: 521,440
  • Market Cap: $2.57 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 36.45
  • EPS (TTM): 0.5
  • 1y Target Est: 19.38

2. Pattern Energy Group Inc. (PEGI)

This San Francisco company owns wind energy projects. It makes its living selling energy to local utility companies. Projects are in the United States, Canada and Chile.

The stock has been rising throughout 2017, though it had a steep drop in August. Watch for it find support around $23 per share.

  • Avg. Volume: 711,048
  • Market Cap: $2.08 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 169.50
  • EPS (TTM): 0.14
  • 1y Target Est: 26.9

3. Atlantica Yield PLC

Atlantica Yield (ABY) owns renewable energy generation assets. It generates power through solar energy and wind.

Revenues have shown solid gains for four straight years, and operating income has grown dramatically during that period. Buyers stepped in during early 2017 and bought shares, giving the stock a high-volume breakout. At the same time, the 50-day moving average crossed above the 200-day moving average. This is called a “golden cross,” and is considered bullish by investors. The stock began forming a base in March 2017, and could break out from there.

If ABY continues to perform as it is now, the rest of 2017 could be good for this stock.

  • Avg. Volume: 793,667
  • Market Cap: $2.1 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): 222.98
  • EPS (TTM): 0.09
  • 1y Target Est: 22.00

4. Covanta Holding Corp.

Covanta Holding (CVA) provides waste services to cities in the United States and Canada. The company has developed assets that convert waste to energy. CVA owns 45 plants that are involved in converting waste and sells metal that is a byproduct of the waste-conversion process.

The 50-day moving average crossed below the 200-day moving average, so keep this one on a watch list for now. Daily volatility can be high, so this is one to buy only for those who are willing to ride out some dramatic moves in the stock price.

  • Avg. Volume: 1,397,820
  • Market Cap: $1.87 billion
  • PE Ratio (TTM): -95.00
  • EPS (TTM): -0.15
  • 1y Target Est: 16.56

The Bottom Line

Alternative energy is mainstream enough now that investors can find companies that are extremely viable. Our list has one penny stock, but all the companies have a track record of securing contracts for their products and services. Nevertheless, the companies are relatively small compared to the giants of the energy sector, so they are subject to being nudged out of the competition.

Owning alternative-energy stocks means staying abreast of news in the field and watching individual companies to see if they are capable of generating increasing revenues quarter over quarter.

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