The alternative energy sector is comprised of companies that engage in the generation and distribution of renewable and clean energy, as well as related products and services. Examples of alternative energy sources include solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal. The growing list of names in the sector includes companies like Spain-based Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy S.A., New Zealand-based Meridian Energy Limited, and First Solar Inc. (FSLR). The alternative energy sector, as measured by the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) has outperformed the broader market over the past 12 months, with total returns of -9.8% as compared with -13.7% for the S&P 500. All figures in this story are as of March 18, 2020.

We'll take a look at the top 3 alternative energy stocks for the second quarter with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Alternative Energy Stocks

These are the alternative energy stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Alternative Energy Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E
Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI) 18.97 0.7 2.2
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) 14.80 0.9 4.2
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) 13.55 0.6 7.0

Source: YCharts

  • Renewable Energy Group Inc.: Renewable Energy Group develops and distributes biofuels, renewable chemicals, and related products. The company works with businesses across the U.S. In 2019, Renewable Energy Group sold more than 700 million gallons of fuel, a 7.9% increase year-over-year (YOY).
  • Canadian Solar Inc.: Canadian Solar is a Canada-based solar power company that designs, manufactures, and sells solar module products that convert sunlight into electricity.
  • JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd.: JinkoSolar is a China-based solar energy company that manufactures solar products including silicon wafers, solar cells, and solar modules. The company also offers solar system integration services. Earlier this year, JinkoSolar reported that total solar module shipments for FY 2019 accounted for 14.3 GW, an increase of 25.6% year-over-year (YOY).

Fastest Growing Alternative Energy Stocks

These are the alternative energy stocks with the highest YOY earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money than it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Alternative Energy Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH) 29.28 3.6 8,700
Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI) 18.97 0.7 3,640
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital (HASI) 19.65 1.3 312.5

Source: YCharts

  • Enphase Energy Inc.: Enphase Energy provides energy management solutions. The company is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of microinverter systems for the solar photovoltaic industry. Recently, the company announced that its solar storage installation products had been shipped to 18,000 homes around the world.
  • Renewable Energy Group Inc.: See company description above.
  • Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital: Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure is a provider of debt and equity financing to renewable energy companies focused on addressing climate change. In March, Hannon Armstrong announced an investment of $115-million in a sustainable energy utility project at the University of Iowa.

Alternative Energy Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the alternative energy stocks that had the highest total return in the last 12 months.

Alternative Energy Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($) 12-Month Trailing Total Returns (%)
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH) 29.28 3.6 223.5
Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP.TO) CA$11.50 CA$2.7 181.9
SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (SEDG) 84.71 4.2 112.1
S&P 500 N/A N/A -13.7
iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) N/A N/A -9.8

Source: YCharts

  • Enphase Energy Inc.: See company description above.
  • Ballard Power Systems Inc.: Ballard Power Systems is a Canada-based energy company that designs, develops, manufactures, sells and services hydrogen fuel cells for a variety of applications. The company announced total revenue for Q4 2019 of CA$41.9 million, a YOY increase of 47%.
  • SolarEdge Technologies Inc.: SolarEdge Technologies is an Israel-based solar energy company that provides solar power optimization and photovoltaic monitoring solutions. The company provides optimizers, inverters, monitoring equipment, tools, and accessories for the purpose of power harvesting, conversion, and efficiency.