Cleantech

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Growth in the US solar energy market is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. Get ready by checking out the top US solar energy stocks.

As the Biden administration pushes to tackle climate change in America, the top US solar energy stocks offer opportunities for investors looking to enter the clean energy sector.

According to the latest report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, during H1 2022, solar accounted for 39 percent of new electricity-generating power, and the US market installed 4.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity during that period. Residential solar installations totalled 1.35 GW of direct current, setting a fifth quarterly record.

Over the next few years, the firms forecast that the solar industry will continue to break annual installation records. From 2023 to 2027, they expect total solar deployment to increase by 62 GW of direct current


Following US President Joe Biden's mid-2022 executive action geared at spurring clean energy manufacturing in the country, the SEIA released the following statement:

“We applaud President Biden’s thoughtful approach to addressing the current crisis of the paralyzed solar supply chain. The president is providing improved business certainty today while harnessing the power of the Defense Production Act for tomorrow. Today’s actions protect existing solar jobs, will lead to increased employment in the solar industry and foster a robust solar manufacturing base here at home."

What are the top US solar energy stocks?

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted growth in global markets, upside potential in the US solar energy market still exists. Evidence of this can be seen in SunRun’s (NASDAQ:RUN) US$3.2 billion all-stock acquisition of Vivint Solar in 2020.

This trend continued on a worldwide scale the next year, with Solar Industry Magazine reporting that in 2021, there were 58 solar corporate deals, the most in a year since 2010. Total global corporate funding, including venture capital and M&A deals, reached US$27.8 billion for the year, up 91 percent over 2020.

Gibraltar Industries (NASDAQ:ROCK) made two such acquisitions to expand its solar energy portfolio. The company acquired solar racking technology firm TerraSmart for US$220 million, and software solutions provider Sunfig for US$3.75 million.

Even though the costs involved in producing electricity from solar energy are higher than they are for traditional sources, companies in the sector have a number of financial benefits, largely due to the ongoing green energy transition. These include government subsidies and tax credits to encourage the production of clean energy.

To help investors learn more about individual solar-focused companies, the Investing News Network has put together a list of the top US solar energy stocks by market cap. The list below includes companies listed on the NASDAQ and NYSE, and it was generated using TradingView's stock screener on August 31, 2022.

1. NextEra Energy Resources (NYSE:NEE)

Market cap: US$167.89 billion

NextEra Energy Resources is the top clean energy company in North America, and leads the world in wind and solar energy production. The firm develops, constructs and operates electric power projects, markets electricity to wholesale customers and invests in critical infrastructure for power delivery. NextEra’s operations include more than 150 wind and solar universal energy centers located in 26 states and four provinces in Canada, generating more than 17,000 megawatts of wind and solar energy.

The diversified energy company recently declared a regular quarterly common stock dividend of US$0.425 per share, payable on September 15. After the Biden administration announced it would ease tariffs on solar modules made in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, NextEra Energy President and CEO John Ketchum stated, "The Biden administration's announcement of a two-year pause on new solar tariffs is an important step to help the solar industry recover from the uncertainty of the last three months. I want to thank the administration for recognizing the challenges that trade uncertainty presents to our industry and the country and for taking this important action.”

2. SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ:SEDG)

Market cap: US$15.28 billion

SolarEdge bills itself as “a global leader in smart energy technology,” addressing a broad range of energy market segments through its photovoltaic (PV), storage, electric vehicle charging, battery, uninterruptible power supply and grid service solutions. The company has developed the SolarEdge DC optimized inverter solution for managing PV systems. This smart inverter maximizes power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system.

In mid-2022, SolarEdge announced the European launch of SolarEdge Home, a portfolio of home energy management products and solutions. “We developed a full system that enables both harvesting more energy from the sun and energy independence for homeowners. We believe that smart energy management is increasingly important as electricity costs and consumption continue to grow,” said SolarEdge CEO Zivi Lando. “Innovative solutions that can interconnect multiple energy sources, consumption loads, and battery storage are key to future energy independence and sustainable living.”

3. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)

Market cap: US$13.64 billion

First Solar designs and manufactures solar power systems and uses a thin-film semiconductor technology to manufacture solar modules. The company’s supporting services include finance, construction, maintenance and end-of-life panel recycling.

In August 2022, First Solar pledged to spend US$1.2 billion on expanding its US manufacturing capacity. “We have never before had any sort of legislation or commitment to grow the entire sector all at the same time,” said Samantha Sloan, First Solar’s vice president of global policy, sustainability and marketing. “It is a first step towards really investing in all shapes of clean-energy sectors that’s going to drive investment at every stage.”

4. Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP)

Market cap: US$10.29 billion

Brookfield Renewable Partners is one of the world’s largest publicly traded renewable power companies. It sells the bulk of its power production under long-term, fixed-rate power purchase agreements.

Brookfield Renewable’s expansive asset portfolio includes hydroelectric, wind and solar energy-generation facilities, as well as energy storage assets. This translates into roughly 21,000 megawatts of capacity and nearly 6,000 generating facilities across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

5. Clearway Energy (NYSE:CWEN)

Market cap: US$7.45 billion

Clearway Energy owns, operates and acquires contracted renewable and conventional energy-generation and thermal infrastructure assets across the US. The electric utility company’s operations include conventional generation, renewables and thermal power.

Clearway Energy, which prides itself as being “built for 21st century energy markets,” provides customers with low-cost clean energy generated from solar and wind installations across North America. The company’s portfolio includes more than 5 GW of wind, solar and energy storage operations.

6. SunRun (NASDAQ:RUN)

Market cap: US$7.01 billion

SunRun is one of the leading home solar panel, battery storage and energy services companies in the US. Founded in 2007, the San Francisco-based company provides residential solar electricity via installing, monitoring and maintaining solar panels on homeowners’ rooftops. SunRun is a pioneer in home solar service plans, making local clean energy more accessible with no upfront costs. The company’s Brightbox home battery solution allows customers to access affordable and reliable energy.

SunRun’s purchase of Vivint Solar, at the time the number two company in the US solar energy sector by market share, allowed for the creation of a new solar energy giant in the US residential solar market.

Exchange-traded funds

Investors who don’t want to focus on specific stocks may want to consider exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Within the solar sector, there is only one solar energy ETF, the Invesco Solar ETF (ARCA:TAN). It tracks the MAC Global Solar Energy Index, and offers exposure to a broad basket of solar energy companies.

This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2017.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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