Best renewable energy stocks to buy in 2021

Companies leading the charge to find alternative forms of energy are some of the hottest businesses around. Here, our experts pick their top five renewable energy companies to invest in this year.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: Aug 13, 2021
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We’ve analysed the markets to find the renewable energy stocks we’re most excited by at the moment. This page includes our top five picks to invest in along with some help on how to find your own.

What are the top renewable energy stocks to buy in 2021?

This is our list of the best renewables stocks, ranked in order of their future potential. Use the links in the table to find their latest price, or scroll down for more information on why we chose each one.

#Stock symbolCompany name
1CSIQCanadian Solar Inc.
2SPWRSunPower Corporation
3DQDaqo New Energy Corp.
4PLUGPlug Power Inc.
5SOLReneSola Ltd.
List selected by our team of analysts, updated 13th August 2021.

1. Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)

Canadian Solar makes solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity. Headquartered in Canada, it has installed power plants across North America, Europe, and Asia that run on solar energy.

Solar stocks took off in 2020 and Canadian Solar was no different, with its share price climbing 200% across the year. Along with growing investor appetite for renewable energy, there were real results as well: a record number of solar panels installed, and grid outages convincing more people to add their own solar-powered generators at home.

CSIQ earns top spot here because the outlook remains rosy, not least because the Biden administration is much more focused on green energy than its predecessor and has added incentives into its major infrastructure bill. Despite its growth so far, Canadian Solar is available relatively cheaply and still has room to grow.

 2. SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR)

SunPower is a US-based company that sells solar panels to residential and commercial customers. It also sells energy management software, again targeted at home and office owners.

Initially a solar panel manufacturer as well, SunPower spun off its manufacturing wing in August 2020. That decision to focus on software and sales, two high-growth areas, sent its share price up 600% by the end of the year.

Although it has fallen back a bit since then, SunPower is leaning into its new, slimmed-down, frame, which is what has it second on this list. Its new CEO wants to make buying solar panels as easy as ordering from Amazon, and there is a huge, untapped market for them – only 3% of homes in America have solar panels right now. 

 3. Daqo New Energy Corp. (NYSE: DQ)

Daqo New Energy is a Chinese company that manufactures polysilicon – metal parts that help build solar panels. 

Demand for polysilicon has exploded over the last year, as the clean energy revolution gathers pace. Driven by these attempts to create alternative sources of power, Daqo’s shares increased by an eye-watering 1,000% in 13 months between January 2020 and February 2021.

Even if that sort of rise is – obviously – not sustainable, the demand for solar panels is. Like semiconductor chip manufacturers who play a vital, if lesser-known, role in computing, producing the vital hardware during a boom in renewable energy could be big business for Daqo moving forward.

4. Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG)

Plug Power develops hydrogen fuel cells, which are clean alternatives to battery power and can be used in cars and power plants. Formed in 1997, it actually hit massive highs during the dot com bubble and fell back to plugging along slowly until the renewables boom hit in 2020.

Like every other company on this list, that boom sent its share price flying again. It was up 1,500% in a year, most of which came after Joe Biden won the presidential election in November. The expectation of a much more green-friendly political scene was enough for investors to pile in.

There have been a few setbacks since then, and the price is still based on potential rather than hard results. But Plug Power is on this list because it has already struck deals with companies like Renault to supply the fuel cells for its cars. Major deals like that are proof that the demand for its technology is there.

5. ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL)

ReneSola is a Chinese company that’s listed in the United States, and operates like a project manager of solar energy infrastructure developments. It focuses on financing and managing green energy projects in the US and Europe.

Once again, it’s shares took off after the election results, going up 500% in a month between December 2020 and January 2021. Since then, there has been a bit of a tail-off, but that is more likely to be investors taking a profit rather than any statement on the underlying business.

That business is doing well. It essentially manages infrastructure projects and sells them on once they’re complete, and it expects to have doubled the amount in late stage development by the end of 2021, compared to a year earlier. Its stock can be a rollercoaster, but ReneSola is churning out solar power at a relentless rate.

Where to buy the best renewable energy shares

You can use the brokers below if you want to dive in and get your stocks now. Our team of financial experts have reviewed all of the leading platforms to pick out the best ones, and all of the ones in our list are bursting with features to help you invest.

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What is a renewable energy stock?

Any company that is involved in researching, manufacturing, or selling alternative energy sources. That means any business that’s involved in solar energy, wind power, or hydroelectricity counts as a renewable energy stock.

Are renewable energy shares a good investment?

It certainly looks like it, with people across the world becoming more eager to find alternative sources of energy to ward off the danger of climate change. Shares in companies that provide clean energy have been volatile over the past year, but there’s no doubt the demand for their products exists.

As with any tech stock, picking the right companies to invest in is the challenge. The industry suits both short term traders who are looking to find bargains with the potential to boom, and those with longer horizons who think this technology is the future.

Both methods carry an element of risk, and you should be prepared to see big swings in the value of these stocks. Often, those swings are based on expectation or hype that comes out of a news event – like the US presidential election. You can follow the latest news below to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

Latest renewable energy news

Crude oil price has eased on its rallying as it faces resistance at $72. OPEC+ raised its forecast for global oil demand, an aspect that boosted prices. crude oil price OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has raised its forecast for global…
Crude oil price has bounced off Wednesday’s low as the forces of demand and supply continue to heighten volatility in the market. crude oil price OPEC+ decision On Wednesday, crude oil price extended its losses after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) held on to…
Crude oil price remains within a tight range even after the better-than-expected oil stockpile data. Profit-taking mode has contributed to the eased trading. crude oil price US oil inventory data Late on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicated that the amount of crude oil in storage dropped by…
Crude oil price has eased after the three-day rally. WTI futures will likely remain below $70 in the near term while finding support at $65. crude oil price Demand outlook On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed the bullish trend highlighted by the American Petroleum Institute (API). On…
Crude oil price remains below the crucial level of $70 after the US stockpile data. The focus is now on EIA’s data. crude oil price US oil inventory data Late on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicated that US oil inventory had dropped by 1.163 million barrels for…
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG) shares, Friday surged more than 5% before easing later to trim intraday gains. The company posted weaker-than-expected earnings per share despite smashing expectations on revenue. Plug Power also issued upbeat guidance on gross billings amid its rapidly growing electrolyzer business. Plug Power’s…

Fact-checking & references

Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

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James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.
Jayson Derrick
Lead News Editor
Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to perfect the art of Texas style BBQ. read more.