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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.


Renewable Energy Stocks - How to Invest in 2021

February 15, 2021 08:35 UTC
Reading time: 24 minutes

Continued concerns about climate change and growing global energy demand are pushing many governments around the world to change their energy policy towards renewable energy. Some estimates suggest that by 2050, $13.3 trillion will be invested in energy production, 77% of which will be in renewable energy! Many investors are wondering how they can take advantage of this "green" mega-trend and invest in high yield renewable energy stocks.

In this article, I cover everything you need to know to start investing in this new, rapidly growing market in a strategic way.

Let's not waste any more time. Let’s begin!

renewable energy stocks


What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy obtained from sources that are believed to be renewable naturally and are virtually inexhaustible. Other names for renewable energy are "green energy" and "clean energy"

An example of renewable energy could be that of the sun, as it will continue to shine, although its availability depends on the season and weather. The same can be said for wind.

Although it seems like a relatively new technology, renewable energy has been known to mankind for centuries. Here are some of the more famous examples from history related to green energy:

  • Windmills in the Netherlands in the late 16th century
  • The first solar farm was built in France in 1860
  • In 1876, electricity from solar energy was first produced in London
  • At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, many wind turbines were built in Europe to generate electricity.
  • In 1927 was the first sale of a wind turbine to a group of American farmers
  • The first village powered entirely by solar energy appeared in 1978 and it is Tohono O'odham, Arizona.
  • In 1996, the SOLAR project was launched in the United States, which consists of 3 solar power plants, which allows energy to be stored for longer periods of time

As you can see, the various sources of renewable energy have come a long way and continue to grow today.

Types of renewable energy

The most popular types of renewable energy include:

  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Hydro energy
  • Burst of energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Biomass energy

Hydropower is the most widely used source of clean energy in the world, with the global installed hydropower capacity exceeding 1,295 GW, which represents over 18% of the total installed capacity for energy production in the world and more than 54% of the global capacity for renewable energy production sources.

Why invest in renewable energy?

The global renewable energy industry has long been in the sights of many investors around the world, regardless of whether we are talking about the best renewable energy stocks UK, Canadian renewable energy stocks, Chinese renewable energy stocks or elsewhere. The reasons that can motivate you to join this army of investors can be thousands and strictly individual. However, in this part of the article, we will touch on the most popular of them.

But let's split the question in two: Why invest and why invest in renewable energy?

Why invest, at all?

People make investments for all sorts of reasons, such as building a long-term fortune, paying for a child's education, generating capital for their own business, planning retirement, achieving other financial goals, or simply increasing disposable income.

The topic of investments is becoming more and more relevant in recent years.

Now that you know why to invest, let's answer the second question, which concerns green energy.

Why invest in renewable energy?

Renewable energy companies had a strong 2020. Not because the companies’ clean energy stocks rose a lot. Rather, because their investors predict a very bright future during the administration of the new US president, Joe Biden, who promises a $2 trillion energy reform aimed at green energy.

Biden is expected to introduce more favourable funding policies. At the same time, low interest rates are like rocket fuel for financing clean energy projects, which are often linked to large loans.

We can probably list dozens of other reasons to invest in renewable energy shares, but here are just a few.

  • "We expect $13.3 trillion to be invested in new energy capacity by 2050, with 77% going to renewables," BloombergNEF predicts.
  • In stark contrast to other energy sources, electricity from renewable energy sources will increase by 7% in 2020, according to an IEA report. At the same time, global energy demand will fall by 5%.
  • Despite economic uncertainty, investors' appetites for renewables remain strong. From January to October 2020, traded renewable capacity was 15% higher than the same period last year, a new record.
  • Shares of publicly traded renewable equipment manufacturers and developers performed stronger than most major stock market indices. In October 2020, the shares of solar companies around the world doubled compared to December 2019.

indexed stock prices for energy companies

Source: EIA, January 7, 2020

  • The addition of renewable capacity is on track for a record expansion of nearly 10% in 2021. This will be the fastest growth since 2015, driven by blocked projects in 2020 and measures taken by key governments such as the US, India and some European countries.
  • The total installed wind and solar photovoltaic capacity is on track to surpass natural gas in 2023 and coal in 2024.
  • Renewables will overtake coal to become the world's largest source of electricity in 2025.

total installed power capacity by fuel and energy

Source: EIA, January 7, 2020

By investing in renewable energy through the stock markets you get:

  • Exposure in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world
  • Exposure to innovation
  • Environmental, social and managerial investments (ESG) - investments that seek a positive return and long-term impact on society, the environment and business results.
  • Protection of existing capital from inflation
  • Opportunities for capital gains and achievement of financial goals
  • Opportunities for diversification of the asset portfolio
  • Opportunities to build a flow of passive profitability by receiving dividends
  • Very high asset liquidity (you can buy and sell your assets in seconds)
  • Due to the high liquidity, you can take advantage of low investment costs (spreads and commissions)

Risks when investing in renewable energy

One of the biggest disadvantages of renewable energy sources is that the sun does not always shine equally strongly and the wind does not move at a constant speed. This problem, known as interruption, puts renewables at a disadvantage to fossil fuels, which can produce constant power.

Sharp changes in green energy sources can have a negative impact on the power produced and, respectively, on the return on investment in green energy.

Another serious drawback may be the price. Often, energy produced from renewable sources can be more expensive than fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Other risks may include:

  • Potential reduction or interruption of government incentives for industry
  • Potential change in government regulations
  • Falling fossil fuel prices (oil, gas, etc.) may lower demand for energy from renewable sources
  • High volatility in the prices of renewable energy stocks

Now that you know the pros and cons of investing in renewable energy stocks, let's see how you can invest in this industry.

How much capital to invest in renewable energy?

The answer to this question depends mainly on three personal factors:

  • Personal opportunities
  • Personal financial goals
  • Personal tolerance for risk

Personal opportunities can be very individual for different investors and, therefore, it’s not possible to determine an exact amount for everyone to start with.

You can look at the investment horizon, or the time for which funds can be set aside without needing them. It will depend on whether you focus on short-term investments or long-term ones. A cumulative investment (a certain amount each month, for example) can make a seemingly small return look serious when it comes to longer periods of time.

At the same time, start identifying your financial goals. What will you need in the future? You may want to buy a house or a car, finance your child's education, plan vacations abroad, start or develop a business or a new venture, or just have enough money when you retire.

The answers to these questions will give you an idea of ​​your financial goals.

The next aspect you need to consider is your risk tolerance or your ability to take risks. It depends on factors such as current income, savings, expenses, financial obligations and adequate financial coverage for life and health. And last but not least, on your own temperament.

Both extended deadlines and higher rates of return could give you similar results. This makes different investments interesting and suitable for different purposes.

How to invest in renewable energy?

It is good to remember that to invest in renewable energy stocks, you need to have the right tools and competitive conditions. But, let's see which trading and investment tools you can use.

The first step is to open a real account with a regulated investment intermediary such as Admiral Markets. You will then need to download a financial market trading platform, which gives you access to top renewable energy stocks to buy. Admiral Markets offers the world's number one platform for trading multiple assets - MetaTrader 5.

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Now that you have an intermediary and a trading and investment platform, it's time to look at the various financial instruments that allow you to gain exposure with renewable energy company stocks. They include:

  • Renewable energy stocks and shares
  • Contracts for Difference (CFDs) of shares for renewable energy
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) for renewable energy

Each of these opportunities has its advantages and disadvantages and each investor must individually choose the right tools for themself, taking into account personal capabilities, personal financial goals and risk tolerance.

Now, let's take a closer look at what the above three renewable energy investment opportunities are.

Shares of renewable energy companies

A stock is a variable-yield security that allows you to own a stake in a company. A share is a unit owned by a company

For example, if a company has issued 100 shares and you have bought 10 shares of that company, then you own 10% of it. Holding shares can give you (but not always) any of the following rights:

  • Right to dividend
  • Right to vote at the general meeting
  • Right to liquidation of share

Most companies issue and sell shares to raise more capital to finance their activities.

Advantages of investments and trading in real shares:

  • Real possession of the base with all associated property rights
  • Less risk due to lack of leverage
  • No swap fees to keep the position open at night
  • More stable regulation

At the same time, the disadvantages of investment and trading in real shares compared to trading in CFDs of shares are:

  • Lack of opportunity to open short positions
  • Lack of opportunity to use leverage
  • Availability of fees and commissions for purchase and sale
  • Lack of opportunities to trade in many different markets

Whether you are going to trade in CFDs of stocks or trade in real stocks you need to go to a regulated broker like Admiral Markets.

CFD of shares for renewable energy

A Contract for Difference (CFD) is a contract concluded between a trader and a broker to exchange the difference in the price of an asset. This contract is active until it is closed by the trader, and payments under it are through a broker, instead of the actual delivery of the traded asset

In practice, contracts for difference provide investors with almost all the advantages of real investment in financial instruments, but without actually owning them.

Let's first note the advantages of trading contracts for difference:

  • Short sales. One of the main advantages of today's CFD trading lies in the possibility of short positions. In this way, you can potentially benefit from both rising and falling markets.
  • Use of leverage. CFDs allow you to manage a larger amount than you have in your trading account. This happens through the use of leverage.
  • Opportunity for transactions within the day. CFDs allow traders to take advantage of short-term price movements in the stock, index or commodity markets.
  • Easy access to global markets. Easy access to many financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, cryptocurrencies, etc. through an intermediary of your choice.
  • In CFD trading with Admiral Markets there are often no fees or commissions for opening and closing positions.
  • Numerous trading styles are available (at least for some brokers, such as Admiral Markets).

Like any investment, CFDs have their drawbacks:

  • There is no possession of the underlying asset, which does not have property rights in case of bankruptcy of the company.
  • CFDs may be a less regulated product.
  • The leverage effect can be a double-edged sword. This means that in addition to increasing potential profits, the financial lever also increases potential losses.
  • Swap fees to hold the position at night.

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Exchange traded fund for renewable energy

BOX An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is a basket of securities that you can buy and sell on the relevant stock exchanges through a financial intermediary (broker). BOX

These funds can invest in many different asset classes (stocks, bonds, indices, commodities, currencies, etc.). Many different Exchange Traded Funds invest in renewable energy stocks.

The advantages of investing in a renewable energy ETF:

  • Lower costs because you can buy a basket of shares instead of just one
  • Direct portfolio diversification
  • Tax efficiency (for example, actively managed mutual funds often buy and sell assets, which generates taxable capital gains, which is not the case with ETFs)

Disadvantages include:

  • In some cases, ETFs may have lower liquidity than equities
  • There may be some discrepancies with the underlying asset that follows the fund

There is no right or wrong tool to start investing in shares of green energy companies. You just have to choose the most suitable for your trading and investment style.

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How to choose the best renewable energy stocks?

Before choosing your best renewable energy stocks, you should consider which of the five types of companies to target, or a combination of them. In the following lines, we will look at each of the five types of companies with green energy stocks in a few sentences. We’ll also look at examples of renewable energy companies to invest in.

Manufacturers of components and assemblies

These companies manufacture and install the equipment needed to produce renewable energy. These may include:

  • Manufacturers of solar cells and panels such as SunPower and First Solar
  • Manufacturers of components and accessories such as Enphase and SolarEdge
  • Installers of solar energy systems such as Vivint Solar
  • Manufacturers of wind turbines and blades such as Siemens, Vestas Wind Systems and General Electric

These companies sell their products and services to customers and, as such, their resulting revenue has some volatility. Their revenues may increase as demand increases, competition shrinks or as the entire industry strengthens. This makes them riskier, but can also offer higher returns.

In the following image you can find the SunPower stock price chart:

SPWR CFD Daily Chart

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, #SPWR CFD, Daily Chart. Data Range: June 24, 2019, to January 7, 2020. Done on January 7, 2020, at 5:40 p.m. Please note that past performance does not guarantee future results.


Utility companies in this industry produce energy and then sell it to the end-users. Although most utility companies still generate much of their electricity from traditional fossil fuels, many are heavily invested in renewable energy.

One of the largest utility companies related to renewable energy is NextEra Energy. It emphasizes solar and wind energy.

Energy producers

Unlike utility companies, which have a more integrated business by producing energy and distributing it to customers, many companies focus only on the operation of renewable energy sources.

They often sell the electricity generated by these facilities in long-term fixed-rate purchase agreements (PPAs) with utilities and other kinds of end-users, such as data centres and industrial plants.

Through such contracts, energy companies provide predictable cash flow. They pay most of it to investors through dividends. An example of such a company is Brookfield Renewable Partners.

BEP Daily chart

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, #BEP Daily chart. Data range: June 24, 2019, to January 7, 2020. Done on January 7, 2020, at 5:52 p.m. Please note that past performance does not guarantee future results.

Producers of biofuels and biomass

These companies produce renewable fuels, which they sell to their customers as a fossil fuels substitute. For example, Redeem, produced by Clean Energy Fuels, is a renewable natural gas produced from organic waste coming from farms and landfills. This fuel burns 70% cleaner than gasoline and diesel.

As biomass and biofuel companies produce fossil fuel substitutes, they can be very sensitive to raw material price changes. This makes them more suitable for investors who are looking for more than the risk/return ratio.

Manufacturers of electric vehicles and components

Companies such as Tesla and Nio are creating electric-powered vehicles to replace those powered by internal combustion engines (gasoline).

Thus, they are taking a different approach to disrupting the transportation segment of the energy market. Tesla is offering an electric vehicle potentially powered by fully renewable energy sources as it also sells an integrated rooftop solar system that includes panels and battery storage.

Below you can see the graph of Nio's share price:

NIO.US CFD Daily Chart

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, #NIO.US CFD, Daily Chart. Data Range: June 24, 2019, to January 7, 2020. Done on January 7, 2020, at 5:47 p.m. Please note that past performance does not guarantee future results.

Other clean energy stocks

Other popular renewable energy stocks include:

Brookfield Renewable energy stock

Brookfield Renewable Partners L.P. is a company that owns and operates assets in renewable power, with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sixty per cent of the company is owned by Brookfield Asset Management.

Renewable Energy Group stock

Renewable Energy Group is a production company focusing on biodiesel. They are organized in Delaware and have headquarters in Ames, Iowa. The company operates a facility for feedstock processing and 13 biorefineries.

GE Renewable Energy stock

GE Renewable Energy is one division of General Electric. They have headquarters in Paris, France and focus on producing energy with renewable sources. Its product list includes hydroelectric, solar and wind power generating solutions.

ASX renewable energy stocks

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is the primary exchange of securities in Australia. The index is owned by ASX Limited and is often referred to as the ASX. Although the operating companies and the exchange are separate, they're often considered to be synonymous, due to the interrelated nature of their relationship. 

Siemens Gamesa Renewable energy stock

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy S.A. is a Spanish-German engineering company focused on wind sources of generating renewable energy. They are based in Zamudio, Biscay, Spain. The company manufactures wind turbines and provides services for generating energy from onshore and offshore wind sources.

Some traders have also been paying attention to renewable energy penny stocks. Here are a few examples of penny stocks in renewable energy:

  • American Battery Metals Corp
  • Torchlight Energy Resources Inc
  • Tantech Holdings Ltd
  • Ur-Energy Inc

As always, to minimize risk, any trader needs to perform thorough research with technical and fundamental analysis of a stock's performance and develop a strong risk management strategy before choosing to invest in any stock.

Key metrics of renewable energy companies

Each market sector has industry-specific metrics or specialized terms that all investors need to know. Here are just five of the most important metrics that will help you choose the best renewable energy stocks.

Megawatts (MW)

Megawatts is equal to one million watts of electricity. Companies use this metric to show how much energy they could generate if their plant was operating at full capacity. To put this indicator in perspective, an amount of 1 MW could satisfy the electricity needs of 1,000 homes.

Megawatt hours (MWh)

Although a power plant producing energy from renewable sources may have the capacity to generate 1 MW of power, this does not mean that it will always generate so much energy. This is because renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not always produce energy. This is a problem known as intermittency.

Thus, renewable companies use MWh to show how much electricity they have generated over a period of time.

Price per watt

This metric indicates how much it costs to produce one watt of electricity. Although fuel for renewables (wind, solar and water) is free, wind turbines and solar panels cost money to construct and maintain.

Companies working in renewable energy standardize costs with this indicator, which makes a better comparison of "apples with apples" with sources of fossil fuels such as coal.


This metric indicates how much sunlight is converted into electricity by the solar panel. In 2020, the most efficient solar panels have about 23% efficiency. If a company has a higher efficiency rating, this means its solar panels are better at generating electricity from the sun.

Cash for Distribution (CAFD)

This metric indicates the amount of money a company has produced from renewable energy sources over a specific period that it could distribute to investors. As such, it is similar to free cash flow.

Renewable energy companies that pay dividends use this metric to allow investors to measure their payment sustainability.

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How to start trading in shares of renewable energy?

Now that you know what renewable energy is, what the different types are, why to start investing in renewable energy stocks, how much capital to spend and how to invest in these companies, it's time to move on to the more interesting, practical part - how to invest in renewable energy stocks.

You can do this in just three steps:

  1. Open a stock trading account.
  2. Download your stock trading platform.
  3. Open a New Order window and make your first trade!

For more information on how to open a stock trading account with Admiral Markets, watch the following short video:

Let's give an example of how to make a purchase of stocks in renewable energy using JinkoSolar Holding CFD. Similarly, you can open a short position in stocks.

How to buy shares?

  1. Log in to your account with Admiral Markets (MT4/MT5/WebTrader/Mobile application)
  2. Go to Market Condition
  3. Look for shares of JinkoSolar Holding (#JKS)
  4. Right-click on the stock and then select "Chart Window"
  5. Once the graphic appears, click on the "New Order" button (in the Toolbar below the menu)
  6. Select the number of lots in the Volume field, as well as the stop loss and take profit levels, if you want to place them
  7. Click on the blue "Buy on Market" button

When you buy (long position) shares of JinkoSolar Holding, you expect them to rise in price so that you can make a potential profit from your transaction.

How to sell shares?

  1. Log in to your account with Admiral Markets (MT4/MT5/WebTrader/Mobile application)
  2. Go to Market Condition
  3. Look for shares of JinkoSolar Holding (#JKS)
  4. Right-click on the stock and then select "Chart Window"
  5. Once the graphic appears, click on the "New Order" button (in the Toolbar below the menu)
  6. Select the number of lots in the Volume field, as well as stop loss and take profit levels if you want to place them
  7. Click on the red "Market Sale" button

When you sell (short position) shares of JinkoSolar Holding, you expect them to fall in price so that you can make a potential profit from your transaction.

About Admiral Markets

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We provide access to over 8,000 financial trading instruments such as Forex & CFDs on stocks, indices, bonds, commodities, ETFs and cryptocurrencies, as well as investment opportunities in real stocks and ETFs.

With Admiral Markets you can use free innovative trading platforms such as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, MetaTrader Supreme Edition, as well as the exclusive Premium Analytics portal.

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  • This is a marketing communication. The content is published for informative purposes only and is in no way to be construed as investment advice or recommendation. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and that it is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
  • Any investment decision is made by each client alone whereas Admiral Markets shall not be responsible for any loss or damage arising from any such decision, whether or not based on the content.
  • With view to protecting the interests of our clients and the objectivity of the Analysis, Admiral Markets has established relevant internal procedures for prevention and management of conflicts of interest.
  • The Analysis is prepared by an independent analyst, NAME +(Position), (hereinafter “Author”) based on their personal estimations.
  • Whilst every reasonable effort is taken to ensure that all sources of the content are reliable and that all information is presented, as much as possible, in an understandable, timely, precise and complete manner, Admiral Markets does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained within the Analysis.
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