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 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 outperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of 24.6% compared to the S&P 500's total return of 13.9% over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of June 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) 31.84 1.2 2.7
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) 19.23 1.1 3.9
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) 18.05 0.8 9.3

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. Renewable Energy Group posted a 0.7% decline in total GAAP revenue during Q1 FY 2020, which ended 31 March 2020. The company noted that its first-quarter performance was strong despite headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 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. The company announced in March that its subsidiary, Canadian Solar Australia, had signed an agreement to supply power to Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). Selling power to Amazon will help the giant e-commerce company reach its renewable energy goals, according to Canadian Solar's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Shawn Qu.
  • 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. JinkoSolar announced in January that it had appointed Dr. Hao Jin to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

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 ($) Market Cap
($B)

 
EPS Growth (%)
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH) 54.59 6.8 2,400
Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ) 58.88 0.8 372.9
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) 18.05 0.8 124.0

Source: YCharts

  • Enphase Energy Inc.: Enphase Energy provides solar energy cells and monitoring equipment for distributors, large installers, original equipment manufacturers, strategic partners, and homeowners. The company's net income grew 2,393% to $68.9 million in Q1 FY 2020. The results were boosted by a gain of $15.3 million from changes in fair value of derivatives and an income tax benefit of $11.9 million. The company noted that it posted an all-time record for gross margin in spite of COVID-19.
  • Daqo New Energy Corp.: Daqo New Energy is a China-based company that manufactures polysilicon for photovoltaic product manufacturers. These manufacturers use the polysilicon to make ingots, wafers, cells, and modules for solar power products.
  • JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd.: See company description above.

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 (%)
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH) 54.59 6.8 242.9
Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP.TO) CA$16.26 CA$4.0 208.0
SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (SEDG) 148.28 7.4 168.8
S&P 500 N/A N/A 13.9
iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN) N/A N/A 24.6

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 reported a net loss of $13.5 million despite revenue growth of 50% for Q1 FY 2020, which ended March 31, 2020. Ballard withdrew its revenue outlook for 2020 due to uncertainties stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 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.