Solar Is Booming: Here Are 3 Smart Growth Picks

Jun. 22, 2019 6:14 AM ETENPH, RUN, SEDG37 Comments
Solar Investing profile picture
Solar Investing


  • Smart Solar: Why it's the future.
  • SolarEdge: Growth with solid financials.
  • Enphase: A big turnaround and now exploding growth.
  • Sunrun: Run with the U.S.'s top solar installer.

You see them almost everywhere: rooftops, along highways, downtown buildings, in the desert, landfills, retired coal power plants (no one else wants the toxic land), suburban landscapes, and elsewhere. Solar panels are now becoming an accepted part of the scenery. It's likely just the beginning.

Solar panels in northern MichiganSolar panels in northern Michigan. Image source: Author

Ironically, Exxon (XOM) was one of the first to research solar energy back in the early 1970s for use in oil fields. Subsequently, others picked up the baton of solar energy research and costs plummeted. Today, things have progressed to the point that solar and other renewables are starting to seriously erode fossil fuel dominance in large-scale energy generation.

Smart Solar: Why it's the future

Nothing is driving growth faster than smart solar - solar systems paired with sensors and digital intelligence. The newest systems not only collect, store, and distribute electricity from the sun, but they also do it in such a way there is little, if any, waste.

Everyone talks about efficient panels. Sure, more efficient panels help, but it's only part of the story. Many factors are at play. Shade, clouds, seasonality, matching supply to time and demand, and more. Smart solar looks at all these to maximize productivity for the system as a whole.

A crude example: I have a small, inexpensive, off-grid 900-watt solar system on my house. It's complete with panels, charge controller, batteries, and inverter. I power the TV, lights, office, small fridge, and most of the cooking (with efficient 120-volt appliances) with the system. If the grid goes down, I have the basics covered.

That's great as far as it goes. But there are many inefficiencies.

On sunny days, the system fully charges the batteries by early afternoon but if we are gone or only lightly utilize electricity, the rest of

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ChartData by YCharts

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This article was written by

Solar Investing profile picture
I am retired and have been in the market since the late 1970s. I currently have a diversified portfolio of technology, REIT, renewable, and precious metal equities.I am especially interested in the renewables sector, primarily solar. I have solar panels on my house and own a Tesla Model 3,The dark clouds of climate change are on the horizon and for our children and grandchildren's sake, we need to move away from fossil fuels, and soon. There are many opportunities for investors to profit here but sorting them out is tricky so let's explore this together.

Disclosure: I am/we are long SEDG, ENPH, PCRFY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Disclaimer: As always, investors should do their own research and exercise due diligence before investing in any of the company's mentioned in this article. Solar energy is a sector in rapid transition and it's difficult to pick winners with any certainty.

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