The solar energy industry has grown rapidly even as fossil fuels remain the dominant source of global energy use. Solar industry companies come from multiple sectors, including utilities, industrial, and energy, and include popular stocks such as First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and SunPower Corp. (SPWR). While some large utilities and energy companies have solar and renewable energy divisions, these businesses typically are not included in the industry's listings because the parent's primary focus is not solar. In the 12-month trailing period, solar stocks have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500. The Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) posted a total return of 36.3% compared to a total return of 16.6% for the S&P 500. All figures in this story are as of June 5, 2020.

Here are the top solar stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Solar Stocks

These are the solar sector 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 Solar Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) 19.23 1.1 3.9
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) 17.42 0.8 8.9
SunPower Corp. (SPWR) 7.59 1.3 11.5

Source: YCharts

  • Canadian Solar Inc.: Canadian Solar Inc. is a solar module product developer that designs, builds, and sells modules with residential, commercial, and industrial applications. For Q1 FY 2020, the Canada-based company saw net revenue climb by 70% year-over-year (YOY) to $826 million, while total module shipments increased 41% over the same time period.
  • JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd.: JinkoSolar is a Chinese holding company that produces solar cells, modules and other materials related to solar energy.
  • SunPower Corp.: SunPower designs and builds silicon photovoltaic cells and related solar materials. The company announced in May that it had received regulatory approval from the Chinese government to split into two separate companies: SunPower and Maxeon Solar Technologies.

Fastest Growing Solar Stocks

These are the solar 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 Solar Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) YoY EPS (Quarterly) Growth (%)
Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH) 51.64 6.5 2,400.0
Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ) 56.17 0.8 372.9
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. (JKS) 17.42 0.8 124.0

Source: YCharts

  • Enphase Energy Inc.: Enphase Energy manufactures solar power materials with a focus on increasing reliability and productivity of solar modules. In Q1 FY 2020, Enphase reported a YOY quarterly revenue increase of 105% to $205.5 million.
  • Daqo New Energy Corp.: Chinese solar energy company Daqo New Energy manufactures polysilicon for distribution to manufacturers of solar technology products. Daqo New Energy reported Q1 FY 2020 revenue of $168.8 million, an increase of 107.9% YOY.
  • JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd.: See company description above.

Solar Stocks With the Most Momentum

These are the solar sector stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Solar Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Capt ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Returns (%)
Enphase Energy (ENPH) 51.64 6.5 223.4
SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (SEDG) 142.40 7.1 160.6
TerraForm Power Inc. (TERP) 18.23 4.1 41.7
Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) N/A N/A 36.3
S&P 500 (SPY) N/A N/A 16.6

Source: YCharts

  • Enphase Energy Inc.: See above for company description.
  • SolarEdge Technologies Inc.: SolarEdge Technologies builds and distributes equipment and technology for photovoltaic arrays. The Israeli company did an IPO in 2015.
  • TerraForm Power Inc.: Serving customers in Maryland, TerraForm Power provides a range of clean energy products, including solar, natural gas, wind, and hydroelectricity. In Q1 FY 2020, TerraForm Power entered into a definitive agreement with Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (BEP) by which Brookfield will acquire all outstanding TerraForm Power shares. The deal is expected to be completed in in Q3 of this year.