It hasn't been an easy road for solar companies, but it appears that the industry is finally gaining meaningful traction. Leading the way, and landing at #17 in our countdown is SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR). SunPower is a company that has a vision of becoming the leading integrated solar company, and its legwork thus far has been impressive.

With panels that are more efficient than its close rival, First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), SunPower simply needed to begin reducing the price it charged. Now that this is goal is taking shape, the company and its investors appear to have a much longer time horizon. If SunPower continues at this pace, it could be tough to catch. 

Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Total SA. (ADR). The Motley Fool owns shares of SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.