Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN) burst on the scene earlier this month. The electric vehicle developer was worth more than $150 billion at one point despite not generating any meaningful revenue. The driving factor is the increasing investor interest in companies working to address climate change. 

While Rivian holds lots of promise, it will take some serious sales growth to live up to that valuation. So, investors who like Rivian's potential should love Brookfield Renewable (NYSE:BEPC)(NYSE:BEP). The renewable energy giant has enormous growth potential as it develops renewable energy projects. Because of that, it could create significant value for investors in the coming years.

An electric vehicle at a charging station.

Image source: Getty Images.

A decarbonization leader

Brookfield Renewable is everything Rivian Automotive strives to be one day. It's a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. The company currently operates 20 gigawatts of renewable energy assets around the world. That's enough capacity to avoid 28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, equal to 100% of London's annual emissions or removing 6 million vehicles from the road each year.

That large-scale portfolio has made it the partner of choice for organizations looking to decarbonize their operations. For example, it recently partnered with e-commerce giant and Rivian investor Amazon to develop new green energy opportunities and help it meet its climate goals. It also joined Apple to acquire a portfolio of wind assets in China to assist the tech giant and its suppliers in meeting their decarbonization goals. These partnerships enhance Brookfield's ability to create value for its investors. 

A history of delivering

The big draw with Rivian is its upside potential. For example, the company has a contract with Amazon to produce 100,000 electric last-mile delivery vehicles by 2030. That suggests it has significant sales growth potential. 

While Rivian is all about its potential, Brookfield Renewable is already delivering. Whereas Rivian hasn't generated much revenue, Brookfield Renewable has produced $3 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2021 alone. Brookfield is also highly profitable, generating more than $720 million in funds from operations (FFO), a proxy for cash flow, through the end of the third quarter. Rivian, on the other hand, has racked up nearly $1 billion in losses through the first half of this year. It will take the EV maker a while before it can get into the green.  

Meanwhile, Brookfield also has lots of upside potential. The company has a backlog of 36 GW of renewable energy development projects. For perspective, that would supply enough clean energy to power more than 6 million homes or offset the entire annual emissions of Houston, the heart of the country's oil and gas industry. Combined with other internal growth drivers, that backlog gives Brookfield enough power to grow its FFO per share by as much as an 11% annual rate through at least 2026.

On top of that, Brookfield believes it can add up to another 9% to its FFO per share each year by making acquisitions. That implies up to 20% annual FFO per-share growth through 2026. The company has a long history of making needle-moving deals. Brookfield and its partners have already agreed to invest $2.4 billion this year on a range of transactions, including its agreement with Apple. 

Finally, Brookfield is investing in emerging technologies that could drive significant growth in the coming years. One that it's excited about is green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy to produce emissions-free hydrogen. That fuel could play a vital role in reducing the emissions of the long-haul transportation and steel production industries, since it could replace fossil fuels like diesel and natural gas. If green hydrogen proves to be commercially viable, it could fuel even faster growth for Brookfield. 

Turning promise into results

Rivian holds a lot of promise. However, it also has a sky-high valuation, which will make it hard for the company to create value for shareholders. If it hits a speed bump and can't meet its delivery goals, its shares could crash.

On the other hand, Brookfield Renewable has a long history of creating shareholder value. It has delivered a 19% total annualized return since its inception. Meanwhile, it has lots of power to continue producing strong returns, given its highly visible growth prospects and more reasonable valuation. As a result, it's an appealing option for those who like Rivian's potential.

 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.