The energy industry is in a transition period. We currently need fossil fuels to run the global economy, but we also must transition to cleaner alternative energy sources to improve energy security and long-term sustainability. All this means energy companies need to have a dual focus on borh the fuels of today and tomorrow.

Three energy stocks that are toeing that line well are Enbridge (ENB 2.83%)Kinder Morgan (KMI 3.46%), and Chevron (CVX 1.54%). That makes them stand out as top energy stocks to buy for both the current environment and future energy market.

1. Enbridge: Slowly moving toward the future of energy

Enbridge is one of the largest oil pipeline companies in North America. However, the Canadian pipeline company can see the writing on the proverbial wall. That's leading it to invest heavily to build infrastructure supporting lower-carbon fuels. It's becoming a leader in natural gas transmission and distribution. It also has a large, growing renewable power and new energies business.

Enbridge's legacy fossil fuels business generates lots of predictable cash flow, enabling the company to pay an attractive dividend, currently yielding 6.2%, and invest in lower-carbon energy infrastructure.

The company's current backlog of secured capital projects -- mainly natural gas distribution and pipeline expansions and offshore wind energy projects -- should grow its cash flow per share by 5% to 7% per year through at least 2024. That should support continued dividend growth, which Enbridge has seen for 27 consecutive years.

Meanwhile, the company has an enormous amount of annual investment capacity to continue growing in the future. It also has a large opportunity to continue expanding its lower-carbon gas infrastructure, renewable energy operations, and new energy businesses. That should give Enbridge the fuel to continue growing for years to come.

2. Kinder Morgan: Making a big bet on turning trash into cash

Natural gas pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is following a similar blueprint. Its legacy fossil fuel infrastructure generates steady cash flow. That's giving it the funds to pay an attractive dividend -- it currently yields 5.9% -- and invest in expanding its operations.

Kinder Morgan's initial focus is on renewable natural gas (RNG). The company is investing $1.1 billion to build an RNG platform using methane produced at landfills. These projects will supply incremental cash flow as they come online over the next few years. Kinder Morgan sees an enormous opportunity in landfill-based RNG, given the number of landfills producing methane across the country.

The company is also building two renewable diesel hubs in California and a renewable feedstock storage and logistics hub in Louisiana. Kinder Morgan is utilizing existing assets to support these future fuels and sees an enormous opportunity to continue repurposing assets for future fuel reuse. These investments should enable Kinder Morgan to continue generating lots of recurring cash flow to support its dividend and expansion.

3. Chevron: Accelerating the future

Oil giant Chevron is using its oil-fueled cash flows to invest in traditional and new energy while rewarding shareholders through a steadily rising dividend and meaningful share repurchase program. The company is taking advantage of current strong demand for fossil fuels to grow its oil and gas production and ramp up its lower-carbon businesses. It's also returning more cash to shareholders through its growing dividend -- the payout currently yields 3.8% -- and boosting its buyback program.

Chevron unveiled plans to accelerate its lower-carbon ambitions last year, tripling its planned investment to $10 billion through 2028. It's targeting to grow its RNG output, increase its renewable fuels capacity, boost its green hydrogen production, and increase its carbon capture capabilities.

The company spent more than $3 billion to acquire Renewable Energy Group -- becoming a leader in the industry -- and formed a joint venture with Bunge to produce renewable fuel feedstock. The oil company also advanced its carbon capture and storage strategy by creating a joint venture to develop a hub in Texas to store the greenhouse gas in an underground reservoir offshore. 

The company's dual focus will help it continue supplying the economy with the fuels it needs in the near term while working toward producing those essential to a cleaner future. That should enable Chevron to continue generating lots of cash to return to investors.

Great energy stocks to buy for today and tomorrow

Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, and Chevron all generate lots of cash flow from their legacy fossil fuels businesses. That enables them to pay high-yielding dividends and continue expanding their operations. They're all on a dual growth track, investing to supply the economy with the fuels it needs today and in the future. That should enable them to grow shareholder value in the coming years, making them great energy stocks to buy right now.