Brookfield Renewable (BEP -1.35%) (BEPC -2.09%) is known for its attractive distributions. The renewable energy provider has increased its distribution by a compound annual growth rate of around 6% over the last 22 years.

There are two ways to invest in Brookfield Renewable -- shares of its limited partnership (LP) trade under the BEP ticker while shares of its traditional corporate structure trade under the BEPC ticker. BEP's distribution yield currently tops 4.3% with BEPC offering a dividend yield of nearly 3.9%.

But there's more to Brookfield Renewable than just distributions; it also has tremendous growth prospects. This high-yield dividend stock has soared over 20% so far this year. Here's why it should go much higher.

Sunshine and tailwinds

Governments around the world are scrambling to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. The Biden administration plans for the U.S. to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. Its goal is for the U.S. to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The European Union's goal is at least 32% of power generated by renewable energy by 2030 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Even China plans to increase renewable energy generation by 50% over the next five years and be carbon-neutral by 2060.

Corporations are also getting in the act. More than one-third of the largest companies in the world have set goals to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, according to a report by Accenture

Businesses aren't just pushing for renewable energy for environmental reasons. Onshore wind and solar are now more cost-effective sources for generating electricity than coal and gas. And if the trend continues, their cost advantages will increase in the future.

In addition to these factors, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that the global demand for electricity will increase by 25% to 30% over the next seven years. One big reason behind this growth: The increased use of electric vehicles. The IEA also predicts that renewable energy sources will account for between 75% and 80% of all new energy capacity additions through 2050, with solar and wind leading the way.

The bottom line is that everything points to sustained, growing demand for renewable energy for decades to come. You might say that the forecast for renewable energy is nothing but sunshine and tailwinds.

Why Brookfield Renewable?

Why is Brookfield Renewable in a good position to profit from this growth? For one thing, the company already ranks as one of the world's largest publicly traded clean energy providers. Brookfield Renewable operates globally, with renewable energy facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. 

Brookfield Renewable also checks off all of the renewable energy boxes. It has hydroelectric facilities generating 8200 megawatts of power, wind farms generating 6,900 megawatts, solar facilities generating 4,000 megawatts, and distributed generation and other facilities kicking in another 6,300 megawatts. The company's development pipeline will more than quintuple its total capacity, adding another 110 gigawatts. More than half of this pipeline is focused on utility-scale solar power.

Investors should also like Brookfield Renewable's track record. The stock's total return since Nov. 30, 1999, of 16% doubled the performance of the S&P Global ESG Index and the S&P Utilities Index during the same period. The company has a strong, investment-grade balance sheet as well, with around $3.7 billion of available liquidity.

Brookfield Renewable believes that it can grow its funds from operations per unit by at least 10% through 2027. That growth rate could be twice as much with future mergers and acquisitions. As a result, the company thinks that it will deliver total returns of between 12% and 15% on average over the long term.

A few risks

Every company faces risks. Brookfield Renewable is no exception. For example, there's always the possibility that natural disasters could damage its renewable energy facilities. Political upheaval could be a problem in some areas where the company operates. High interest rates could limit Brookfield Renewable's ability to finance its growth plans.

Overall, though, the company's growth prospects far outweigh its risks, in my view. I predict that Brookfield Renewable will continue to be a big winner for long-term investors. This stock should be a top pick for both its income and upside potential.