As many of you know, the end of 2013 is nearly here and there is still no formal policy to extend the wind Production Tax Credits (PTC) beyond December. There have been various government officials who have stated there will likely be no more extensions given to the wind sector but let's be real, how can that be? For starters, we haven't even begun any formal energy production from a domestic offshore wind project despite its potential to greatly supersede the entire amount of solar power produced in this country in all of 2011. Plus wind was the fastest growing energy source in 2012 (likely helped by fears of the PTC expiring) and according to an August Los Angeles Times article, "Nine states now rely on wind for more than 12% of their total annual energy consumption."
With efficiency and resiliency becoming more of a global theme post Hurricane Sandy and more recently post Typhoon Haiyan, I believe energy technology companies such as ABB Ltd. (NYSE:ABB) and Parker Hannifin (NYSE:PH) should be on investors' radars because of their subsea power cables, rotary actuators and modular inverters which can better help microgrids become more power agnostic. Plus these names give investors exposure to wind. However, in the event the PTC does not move forward post 2013, these companies also have solid opportunities in solar, EV/CNG infrastructure and the smart grid. Of the two names, I'm more inclined to get long ABB at present levels since the company is really looking to become the bellwether of solar connectivity for microgrids through its inverters, something more attainable post its $1 billion acquisition of PV inverter co. Power-One. ABB also recently won an offshore wind farm connectivity contract in Germany. I believe Parker Hannifin is a great company but at 10-year highs I believe investors will get a better entry point.
John Licata has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow John on Twitter @bluephoenixinc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.