We've all been sucker-punched as of late by two seriously ugly trends: economic decline and inflation.

With the GSCI Commodities Index up 42% so far this year and oil still trading near $110 per barrel, many investors are betting that energy prices are the obvious play right now.

Of course, there are many ways to win with energy, from buying energy-oriented exchange-traded funds like the Energy Select SPDR to high-yielding traditional oil and coal drillers like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) to fast-growing renewable energy technologies. Famed venture capitalist Ray Lane suggests that the solar industry could become 10 times bigger than the Internet, and my Foolish colleague Austin Edwards boldly calls it the next millionaire-maker megatrend.

I utilized our new CAPS screening tool to find out which traditional energy stocks and solar tech stocks the 115,000-member Motley Fool CAPS investing community is bullish on.

The stocks have:

  • Market capitalizations above $1.5 billion.
  • Five-star ratings, the highest possible, from our CAPS community.

Since we began tracking the eerily prescient collective intelligence of our CAPS investment community in November 2006, five-star companies have outperformed, with an average annualized gain of more than 12%.

Company

Share Price

Market cap
(in billions)

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ)

$77.45

$41.9

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)

$46.40

$26.4

FPL Group

$60.52

$24.7

ReneSola (NYSE:SOL)

$17.49

$2.0

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR)

$49.70

$218.0

Transocean (NYSE:RIG)

$126.95

$40.5

XTO Energy (NYSE:XTO)

$46.80

$25.7

Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of Aug. 19.

Of course, screens are merely a first step in the stock selection process. Come and join us on Motley Fool CAPS to dig into these companies further. Let our 115,000-strong (and counting) CAPS community help you identify tomorrow's multibaggers.

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