The alternative energy sector is comprised of companies that engage in the generation, distribution, and sale 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 Israel-based SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (SEDG), Brazil-based Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais CEMIG (CIG), and First Solar Inc. (FSLR). Alternative energy stocks, as represented by the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN), have dramatically outperformed the broader market, posting a total return of 108.4% compared to the Russell 1000's total return of 21.8% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers are as of December 7 and the statistics in the tables below are as of December 8.
Here are the top 3 alternative energy stocks 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 Ratio|
|Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REGI)||55.37||2.2||3.9|
|Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ)||39.71||2.3||11.5|
|JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS)||58.36||2.6||16.3|
- 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. On December 3, the company announced several executive-level leadership changes, including the movement of Chad Stone, current CFO, to the newly created position of senior vice president of commercial performance. Todd Robinson, previously treasurer and executive director of investor relations, will serve as interim CFO.
- 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 energy company that manufactures solar products including silicon wafers, solar cells, and solar modules. The company also offers solar system integration services. In late November, JinkoSolar announced that Dr. Jiun-Hua Allen Guo would be appointed Chief Operating Officer, replacing Zhiqun Xu, who is resigning.
Fastest Growing Alternative Energy Stocks
These are the alternative energy stocks with the highest year-over-year (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 that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.
|Fastest Growing Alternative Energy Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap
|EPS Growth (%)|
|First Solar Inc. (FSLR)||88.75||9.4||400.0|
|Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ)||39.16||2.7||285.7|
|Ameresco Inc. (AMRC)||43.59||2.1||115.8|
- First Solar Inc.: First Solar designs and manufactures solar power systems and solar modules. The company utilizes a thin film semiconductor technology to manufacture electricity-producing solar modules. For Q3 2020, First Solar reported YOY net income growth of 406.3% along with YOY net sales growth of 69.6%. Net income was bolstered by sales strength in key product lines, more efficient manufacturing processes, and lower total operating expenses compared to Q3 2019.
- Daqo New Energy Corp.: Daqo New Energy is a China-based solar energy company that manufactures polysilicon for distribution to manufacturers of solar technology products.
- Ameresco Inc.: Ameresco is an integrated electric energy company. The business supplies energy cogeneration services, hydro electric energy solutions, and renewable energy facilities. On December 7, Ameresco released its first Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) report. The company announced that, in 2019, it delivered a carbon offset equivalent to roughly 11.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Alternative Energy Stocks with the Most Momentum
These are the alternative energy stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.
|Alternative Energy Stocks with the Most Momentum|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)|
|Plug Power Inc. (PLUG)||24.75||10.3||685.7|
|Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH)||129.32||16.3||436.4|
|Bloom Energy Corp. (BE)||27.63||4.6||423.3|
|iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN)||N/A||N/A||108.4|
- Plug Power Inc.: Plug Power designs, manufactures, and sells fuel cell systems used in electric lift trucks and other equipment. The company serves customers in retail, grocery, manufacturing, and food distribution worldwide. On November 30, the company announced that it was partnering with hydrogen-powered heavy vehicle maker Gaussin, based in France, to produce a new suite of vehicles for sale in 2021. Hydrogen power is increasingly being used in Western Europe to reduce carbon emissions. McKinsey & Co. forecasts that the global hydrogen economy could grow to $2.5 trillion by 2050, according to Plug Power.
- Enphase Energy Inc.: Enphase Energy provides solar energy cells, monitoring equipment, and microinverters for distributors, large installers, original equipment manufacturers and other customers. For Q3, the company reported 26.6% YOY growth in net income along with a 0.9% YOY decline in revenue. A significantly lower cost of revenue relative to Q3 2019 contributed to strong net income performance for the quarter.
- Bloom Energy Corp.: Bloom Energy makes equipment used in power generation, including on-site generation systems utilizing fuel cells. The company's customers represent industries as diverse as health care, banking, media and communication, food and beverage, technology, and utilities, among others.
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Renewable Energy Group Inc. "Renewable Energy Group Announces Changes to Organization." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. "JinkoSolar Announces New Chief Operating Officer." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.
First Solar Inc. "First Solar, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.
Ameresco Inc. "Doing Well by Doing Good: Ameresco Releases First Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Report." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.
Plug Power Inc. "Plug Power and Gaussin Collaborate on Hydrogen-Powered Transportation Vehicles." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.
Enphase Energy Inc. "Enphase Energy Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter of 2020." Accessed Dec. 8, 2020.