Stocks to buy

The move toward decarbonization and the global transition to renewable energy sources is accelerating. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable power sources will surpass coal to become the world’s biggest source of electricity generation by early 2025. That makes now a great time to consider buying the best green energy stocks.

Furthermore, according to Allied Market Research, the global renewable energy market is forecast to reach $1.98 trillion by 2030 as investments in wind, solar and hydropower ramp up in both developed and emerging countries.

Thus, shareholders in the top renewable energy stocks leading the transition away from fossil fuels are likely to reap the rewards as governments continue to focus on climate change. Here are the three best green energy stocks to buy as the world moves toward decarbonization.

NEE NextEra Energy $76.63
SUN Sunrun $21.04
BEP Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. $31.00

NextEra Energy (NEE)

Source: madamF / Shutterstock.com

Florida-based NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is “the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage.” This puts it in a prime position to capitalize on the move away from fossil fuels.

NextEra continues to scale back its carbon dioxide output, with a goal of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions rate by 67% by 2025 compared with 2005 levels.

The company recently reported better-than-expected Q1 results. Revenue surged 132% year over year to $6.7 billion, while adjusted earnings rose 13.5% to 84 cents a share.

NEE stock has proven to be a solid long-term performer, gaining 87% over the past five years compared with a 55% advance for the S&P 500. In the past 12 months, the share price has risen nearly 8%, which is not bad considering the broader market was roughly flat during that period.

NextEra Energy also pays a generous dividend of 46.8 cents a share for a yield of 2.4%. According to The Motley Fool’s Matthew DiLallo, the company’s strong growth should fuel a dividend increase “of about 10% through at least next year.”

Finally, a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 22.7, compared with a five-year average P/E of 39.2, indicates that NEE stock is not overly expensive at current levels.

Sunrun (RUN)

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Sunrun (NASDAQ:SUN) is a great way to play the growth in solar panel use. The company provides residential solar panels and home batteries across the U.S. It has been a big beneficiary of federal subsidies provided to encourage consumers to install rooftop solar panels on their homes.

At the end of 2022, Sunrun has installed over 53,000 solar and storage systems nationwide. It had 797,296 customers, including 667,241 subscribers, with its customer count increasing 21% year over year in the fourth quarter. As of Dec. 31, Sunrun’s annual recurring revenue from subscribers totaled $1.04 billion, with the life remaining in its contracts averaging 17.6 years.

“Sunrun is particularly well positioned in the current economic environment, where our subscription model is advantaged,” said Sunrun Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Powell. “Our immense operating scale and customer reach, along with our strengths being the leader in storage solution procurement, complex system design expertise, and advanced installation capabilities, are driving considerable differentiation in the marketplace, both as the platform company attracting the best sales talent and our ability to offer the best value to customers.

While RUN stock is down 12% year to date, it is up 5% over the past year and 127% over the past five years. Shares currently trade for 26.3 times earnings, which is well below their five-year average and reasonable for a technology-focused company.

Founded in 2007, the relatively young company does not pay a dividend to shareholders. But even without one, Sunrun offers a good way to play the renewable energy sector amid the continued push toward solar power.

Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (BEP)

Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock

Looking north to Canada, we have Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. (NYSE:BEP). In addition to wind and solar power, it generates hydroelectric power. At the end of 2022, the company had a renewable power development pipeline of nearly 110,000 megawatts, almost double what it had at the end of 2021.

The company delivered record 2022 results. Revenue rose 15% to $4.7 billion, while net income came in at $138 million compared with a $66 million loss in 2021. It also announced that it was increasing its quarterly distribution by 5.5% to $0.3375 per limited partnership (LP) unit, bringing its total annual distribution per unit to $1.35 for a 4.4% yield.

The stock is up more than 22% year to date. The recent strength is due in part to the company’s announcement that it will acquire Orion Energy for $10.2 billion, a deal that allows Brookfield to lead a large-scale decarbonization effort in Australia.

News of the deal prompted BMO Capital Markets to raise its price target from $33 to $34 while maintaining an “outperform” rating. The revised target implies upside of nearly 10%.

BEP has proven to be a solid long-term winner for investors, rising 93% over the past five years. Thus, it deserves a place among the top renewable energy stocks to buy.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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