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U.S. Renewable Electricity Generation Nearly Doubles: 4 Picks

Aparajita Dutta

Per a recent report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generation from renewable sources has almost doubled in the last decade. The majority of the increase has been driven by wind and solar generation.

An Insight into EIA data

America witnessed a new record of 742 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity generation from renewables in 2018, nearly double the 382 million MWh produced in 2008. It’s imperative to mention in this context that both wind and solar electricity generation capacity has hit a significant mark lately per the latest EIA data. While wind generation increased by a havoc 400% over the last decade, solar generation surged a whopping 4700%, thereby creating a new record.

Factors Driving Renewable Growth

Growth in U.S. renewable technologies, particularly in wind and solar, has been driven by favorable state policies and declining costs. As of 2018 end, 29 states and the District of Columbia (DC) had renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Such mandates imposed by the states compelled many utilities to shift their electricity generation portfolio toward renewables.

Moreover, corporate ventures in the clean energy space over the past few years have significantly bolstered the U.S. renewable industry. In keeping with this, the RE100 collaborative global initiative brought together some of the biggest U.S. companies from different sectors, with a target to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

On the cost side, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from solar photovoltaics (PV) decreased 69% between 2010 and 2016 while that of onshore wind fell 18% (per a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency). As installation accelerates, the cost equation for renewables is expected to get much better, thereby attracting more investment in this space.

Our Picks

Trump’s coal favoritism, imposition of import tariff and the continued trade tiff with China had an adverse impact last year on the U.S. renewable industry, especially on solar stocks. However, considering the recent developments, these impediments should fade over time.

We have handpicked four investment worthy stocks from the Zacks Solar and Alternative Energy industries that carry a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) and possess solid growth traits. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Sunworks, Inc. SUNW: For this Roseville, CA-based solar power solutions provider, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year indicates year-over-year improvement of 142.9%. It delivered average positive surprise of 7.5% in the trailing four quarters. It sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Enphase Energy, Inc. ENPH: For this Petaluma, CA-based solar micro inverter manufacturer, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings indicates year-over-year improvement of 310%. It delivered average positive surprise of 33.34% in the trailing four quarters. It carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Sunrun Inc. RUN: For this San Francisco, CA-based residential solar energy systems provider, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings indicates year-over-year improvement of 413%. It boasts a solid long-term earnings growth rate of 20.8%. It carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Gevo, Inc. GEVO: For this San Francisco, CA-based renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings indicates year-over-year improvement of 75%. It came up with average positive surprise of 5.9% in the trailing four quarters. It carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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