3 Best Clean Tech Stocks

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

The clean energy industry is still in a fragile state, but for investors willing to seek out the best opportunities, this could be just as profitable as the tech industry was. Here are my picks for the best stocks in clean tech right now.

GT Solar (Nasdaq: SOLR  )
The solar sector has been hurting so far in 2011, but that hasn't kept GT Solar from making its investors happy. So far this year, shares have climbed 78% on the back of new contracts for solar production equipment and a splashy entry into the LED market.

Most of the excitement has surrounded the company's new crystallization furnaces that have racked up $854.6 million in contracts since April. Some analysts are concerned that GT Solar will suffer a lack of demand in 2012 as solar manufacturers cut back on capacity additions but a more diversified line of products will help the company adjust.

Clean Energy Fuels (Nasdaq: CLNE  )
In a few years, you may be watching natural gas prices more closely than oil prices to see what you'll be paying at the pump. That's because the natural gas fueling infrastructure is slowly but surely making its way to a neighborhood near you. When that happens, a natural gas vehicle will be a viable option for millions of drivers.

The natural gas revolution has already begun with buses and is quickly moving to trucking companies, and passenger vehicles will follow. The infrastructure is the groundwork the industry needs for natural gas vehicles and Clean Energy Fuels is at the forefront.

  • Click here to add Clean Energy Fuels to My Watchlist.

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA  )
And now for the pick that appears to have gone out of style recently: SunPower. The solar efficiency leader recently announced weaker-than-expected preliminary second-quarter results, which sent shares tumbling, but the long-term trends are still in the company's favor.

High-efficiency panels mean lower costs for land, inverter, and other development costs. As SunPower cuts cost, it will gain an advantage over competition. Lower cost suppliers like First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR  ) may have less expensive panels, but it's the overall system costs that matter, and less efficient panels have higher balance of system costs. We are reaching an inflection point in the industry that will lead to some near-term financial pain, but long-term trends still favor the falling costs of solar energy.

Foolish bottom line
The clean tech industry is full of opportunities and landmines, so be careful to watch for risks and not just opportunities. A strong balance sheet can be just as important as a cool technology when the industry goes through ups and downs.

Track the performance of my picks on My CAPS page, where I have given each of these stocks an outperform rating.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of First Solar and SunPower and has also sold put options in SunPower and GT Solar, whew. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of First Solar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1524998, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 12:40:58 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,245.55 75.87 0.42%
S&P 500 2,139.91 6.87 0.32%
NASD 5,229.42 13.44 0.26%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 12:25 PM
CLNE $4.18 Down -0.03 -0.60%
Clean Energy Fuels CAPS Rating: ****
FSLR $41.07 Up +0.01 +0.02%
First Solar CAPS Rating: ***
GTATQ $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
GT Advanced Techno… CAPS Rating: ***
SPWRA.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
SunPower Corporati… CAPS Rating: **