China Looks to Capitalize on Clean Energy as U.S. Retreats
China’s devastating pollution problems began here, in coal country, where legions of workers toiled and often died to exhume the rich deposits that fueled the country’s sooty rise to economic power. Today, these muddy plains are home to a potent symbol of China’s new ambition: to bypass the United States and cement its dominant role in clean energy.
On a lake created by the collapse of abandoned coal mines, China has built the world’s largest floating solar project, enough to provide light and air conditioning to much of a nearby city. The provincial government wants to expand the effort to more than a dozen sites, which collectively would produce the same amount of power as a full-size commercial nuclear reactor.
In Germany, solar panels are transforming home life and offering energy independence
In Germany, something of an energy transition is taking place. In 2016, renewables made up 29 percent of gross electricity generation, with wind power, biomass and solar photovoltaics leading the way. Now, a number of German households are looking to harness the power of the sun and gain energy independence by combining solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with ‘smart’ battery storage.
According to its makers the sonnenBatterie, combined with a PV system, could help users meet around 75 percent of their annual energy needs with self-produced, clean energy.
Solar energy powers millions of green jobs
Energy is the lifeblood of our society. Uninterrupted streams of electrons power the production of the goods we consume, heat and light our homes, fuel our vehicles, power our gadgets and increasingly drive local jobs. We do not have to sacrifice those benefits or jobs to the dirty fossil fuel industry. The abundant power from the sun employed millions in 2016, and the number is projected to grow exponentially in the coming years.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s new report, precipitous cost decline and supportive policies have accelerated deployment of renewable energy technologies and, along with it, a burst of growth in green jobs. In 2016, the renewable energy sector employed close to 10 million people. Solar photovoltaic — the type used for rooftop solar panels — led the way by providing jobs to 3.1 million people. In the U.S., one in every 50 new jobs created in 2016 came from the solar industry.
3 Growth Stocks in Renewable Energy
It’s getting harder and harder for any serious investor to overlook renewable energy investments as just a simple fad. The economics of solar and wind energy improve every day and now — depending on where they are deployed — are often cheaper power sources than traditional fossil fuels. On top of that, you have older, more established power sources such as hydro that play a critical role in providing base load power. There is money to be made in this industry today if you make the right investments.
So we asked three of our contributors to highlight stocks in the renewable energy industry that look like great investments today. Here’s a brief rundown of their three choices: Vestas Wind Systems (NASDAQOTH:VWDRY), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), and Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE:BEP).