The road to renewable power generation has been paved, and more and more investors want to be along for the ride. Many people believe a Biden win will be a victory for renewable energy.
But there are signs that the rapid growth in solar generation will continue with either political party in charge. As both residential and commercial solar generation grows, three stocks that should win no matter who gets elected are Enphase Energy (ENPH 2.44%), Sunrun (RUN 6.90%), and Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP 0.96%).
Predicted to drive growth
The International Energy Agency (IEA) just released its October 2020 World Energy Outlook, where it presents four possible scenarios for how the world's emergence from the coronavirus pandemic could affect energy production and demand. "Renewables grow rapidly in all our scenarios, with solar at the center of this new constellation of electricity generation technologies," said the report.
In fact, the executive director of the independent agency, Dr. Fatih Birol, said solar has become "the new king of electricity." Though hydroelectric is currently the largest renewable source of energy, the IEA predicts that solar is the "main driver of growth" each year after 2022.
Enphase Energy and Sunrun also are in position to be major beneficiaries of the growth in solar, especially at the residential level. Enphase supplies a full solution to home solar energy systems. It is a leading supplier of microinverters, which convert the DC power produced by solar panels into the AC power used in the home.
The company began shipping its seventh-generation microinverter technology internationally in August 2020 and believes its next generation technology, the IQ 8 and IQ 8D (for residential and commercial applications, respectively), will expand its serviceable addressable market significantly by 2022. For its full product line, which includes its new energy storage offerings, the company believes the market will grow from $3.3 billion in 2019 to $12.5 billion in 2022.
Sunrun recently completed its acquisition of Vivint Solar, growing the current customer base to more than 500,000 for the nation's leading provider of residential solar systems. Even prior to the combination, Sunrun grew its customers by 21% in its second quarter ending June 30, compared with the prior-year period.
More to come
The growth that Enphase and Sunrun have experienced hasn't gone unnoticed by investors. While both have had strong revenue growth in the last three years, share price gains have far exceeded the revenue expansion. Nevertheless, the next three years and beyond is where the market itself should blossom.
With increasing interest in renewable energy, Sunrun has a new opportunity to accelerate growth with its acquisition of Vivint. Enphase now offers a full solar solution, from the microinverters at the solar panel to off-grid storage, all controlled by the company's Enlighten software and Envoy management system. In addition, its product suite is suitable for both residential and commercial applications.
Investors in solar generation
The other area that is expected to press forward in solar power is large-scale generation. Brookfield Renewable Partners has an investment portfolio of over 5,300 power-generating facilities globally. Its ownership and investments consist of hydroelectric, solar, and wind power.
The Brookfield name may be familiar from the parent company Brookfield Asset Management (BN 3.04%). The Canadian investment firm funnels its capital to its subsidiaries, including Brookfield Renewable\. Brookfield Renewable, in turn, invests in and operates renewable energy projects. While almost two-thirds of its investment portfolio is in hydroelectric power, it stands to reason that its stake in solar projects will grow if the IEA's predictions come to fruition.
As an experienced capital allocator and operator, and with a solid financial backer in Brookfield Asset Management, investors can diversify into solar generation using Brookfield Renewable Partners.
Solar will be one winner
While who wins the election will inevitably impact the pace at which renewable energy grows in the near term, long-term investors shouldn't think in terms of a few months or a year. The foundation has already been laid for renewable energy to continue its contribution to energy infrastructure. No matter who resides in the White House next year, investors will win in this election by betting on growth in solar energy. Enphase, Sunrun, and Brookfield Renewable make a good trio of candidates to put your money on.