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Competition heats up for the top three US residential solar installers. Momentum solar cost

Competition heats up for the top three US residential solar installers. Momentum solar cost

    US residential solar: why is customer acquisition still so costly?

    US residential solar has continued to soar, growing nearly 30% year-on-year and reaching a record-breaking 4.2 GW of new installations by the end of 2021. The year, however, was not without challenges. Installers faced volatile supply chains, rising system and Omicron-fuelled labor shortages. The impacts of these constraints dispersed unevenly depending on the company and region of operation.

    So, which installers struggled to maintain their market share – and who rose to the challenge?

    We track the top commercial and residential installers and equipment suppliers in the solar market in our US PV Leaderboard, part of our US Distributed Solar Service. Read on for an overview of the latest report.

    Sunrun, Titan Solar Power and Freedom Forever command over 20% of the residential market

    Publicly-traded Sunrun again showed off its dominance as the top residential installer for the fifth consecutive year, securing 13% of the total market. However, Sunrun’s market share is down nearly a point since 2020 – the second year in a row the company experienced market share declines. Although both Sunrun’s direct and indirect installation volumes continue to grow, flat Q4 volumes attributed to Omicron-related labor shortages ultimately hurt their market share for 2021.

    While Sunrun still maintains a comfortable lead, the rising pressure on the company’s growth rate is a testament to the unyielding momentum of other top players.

    The most notable shift in rankings goes to Freedom Forever, which secured 3.9% of the total market and squeezed Tesla out of a top three spot for the first time. Freedom Forever’s installation volumes grew a massive 80% in 2021, and the company entered 12 new state markets. Simultaneously, Tesla has become increasingly dependent on subcontractors for solar installations as the company shifts its business model more towards that of a full-suite technology supplier. Given these two factors, we expect to see Tesla continue to decline in the installer rankings over the next several quarters.

    At its current rate, Freedom Forever’s growth puts pressure on Titan Solar Power’s position going into 2022. While Titan managed to grow installation volumes and market share this past year, its growth is significantly smaller compared to previous years. As large regional installers with expansive networks, Titan and Freedom Forever often compete for sales volumes, and their operations overlap in 15 state markets. Additionally, both companies follow similar business models that rely solely on third-party sales companies. Outsourcing sales to third-party companies – a customer acquisition strategy also used by Sunrun – continues to be a popular tactic for top installers looking to create efficiencies as they expand their geographic footprints.

    Market consolidation heightens competition among second-tier US solar installers

    Further down the Leaderboard, competition continues to intensify for a spot in the top five. In the latest example of consolidation in the residential market, SunPower announced the acquisition of Blue Raven in October 2021. In 2020, SunPower and Blue Raven made up 1.4% and 1.0% of the total market respectively. Heading into 2022, the combined entity SunPower holds 2.7% of the total market, settling comfortably ahead of both Momentum Solar (#6 with 2.2% market share) and Trinity Solar Power (#7 with 2.0% market share).

    The acquisition of Blue Raven strengthens SunPower’s direct installation business, expanding their geographic footprint for direct installs from eight to 19 states. SunPower has noted that direct installs are central to expanding service options and revenue streams. We will continue to track closely how Blue Raven is incorporated into SunPower’s business model and impacts installation volumes over the next year.

    Top commercial installers maximize growth with community solar

    US commercial solar (including community solar) continues to consolidate for both development and asset ownership. The top 75 national installers accounted for over 60% of the market for the first time since 2013, when Leaderboard data begins.

    The top asset owners now command almost 40% of the annual market, up from 32% last year. While commercial solar remains a difficult business to scale, many top developers and asset owners have grown their businesses faster through this route. These projects are well known to offer scale (most are several megawatts in size), and faster customer acquisition for non-residential customers. After all, it’s easier to subscribe to community solar than put solar on your own roof.

    Interconnection delays and costs are holding up gigawatts of development in key community solar states.

    Caitlin Connelly

    Research Associate, Distributed Solar

    Caitlin Connelly

    Research Associate, Distributed Solar

    US residential solar: why is customer acquisition still so costly?

    However, community solar projects are large enough that they suffer from the same hurdles as many utility solar projects. Interconnection delays and costs are holding up gigawatts of development in key community solar states. Additionally, larger projects tend to procure equipment from overseas, exposing them to the same equipment constraints as many utility solar projects. Overcoming these challenges will be critical for continued consolidation in the commercial solar sector.

    Loans financed more than two-thirds of market activity in the second half of 2021

    The residential finance market is also consolidating. The top five largest players financed over 70% of the residential market in 2021, up from 60% in 2020. Market consolidation ramps up competition between financiers, driving down interest rates and dealer fees.

    GoodLeap held onto its position as the top financier and loan provider, capturing 26% of the total market. Sunrun leads the third-party owned (TPO) market, capturing 15%. While TPO capacity volumes grew in 2021, loan volumes continue to dominate new growth and now represent over 60% of the market. We expect this trend to become the norm over the next couple years before the investment tax credit expires for customer-owned systems in 2023.

    Additional key findings from the latest Leaderboard include:

    • Leading commercial installer Borrego broke 10% of total market share for the second year in a row.
    • Enphase beat out SolarEdge in Q4 to regain the #1 position in the residential inverter supplier ranking for 2021. The two companies combined won over 90% of total market share for the second consecutive year.
    • Hanwha Q CELLS maintained the #1 residential module supplier ranking for the fourth consecutive year and the #1 commercial module supplier ranking for the third consecutive year.
    competition, heats, residential, solar, installers

    Want to keep track of the leaderboard in 2021? Find out more about the US Distributed Solar Service.

    The 7 Best Solar Companies in Pennsylvania to Save You Money

    Solar installations in Pennsylvania are becoming more popular. If you’re looking to jump on the solar system train, now is the time to start looking into the best solar companies in Pennsylvania and start saving money on your utility costs.

    Let’s break down the 7 best solar companies right now in Pennsylvania to help you choose!

    Sunrun Solar

    Sunrun is a decent-sized company that sells high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels via popular brands such as LONGi. The company also offers two lithium-ion solar battery choices, the Tesla Powerall and LG’s Chem.

    All of Sunrun’s solar panels come with a 10-year warranty. Despite being less than the 20 to 25-year industry standard, the guarantee is thorough because it covers system repairs, equipment replacement, and related labor.

    Sunrun also provides a distinctive bumper-to-bumper system warranty. For ten years, there is active monitoring, free equipment replacement, and system repairs. The warranty also covers theft and damage insurance, which is rare for most companies.

    Momentum Solar

    Momentum Solar customers can easily customize their systems because the company offers a variety of solar panels. In addition to providing solar battery storage through a partnership with Enphase, the company also offers electric vehicle chargers, inverters, and other solar products.

    Momentum installations all come with a 25-year workmanship warranty as well as a 25-year equipment warranty. These warranties provide complete coverage for both goods and labor.

    Also, Momentum Solar provides a dynamic mobile app for tracking system performance. This is useful while you become used to your new system and can help with upkeep, potential repairs, and more.

    Palmetto Solar

    Palmetto Solar sells and installs high-quality monocrystalline Q Cells solar panels and Smart home solar batteries. The company also offers a 25-year equipment and performance warranty from the manufacturer.

    Customers can add the Palmetto Protect plan to their bill after their installation for a modest monthly charge. Regular maintenance, panel cleaning, pest control, and active system monitoring are all included in this plan. The plan also covers panel removal or reinstallation if you move.

    Palmetto Solar is available in 24 states, including Pennsylvania. Due to their size, they can offer residential consumers solar loans, leases, and power purchase agreements.

    Green Home Systems

    High-efficiency solar panels from Panasonic and LONGi are available through Green Home System, a great company in Pennsylvania. They also have a special Apollo II solar roofing option. Small monocrystalline solar panels that resemble roof tiles are used in this roofing system, which hides the panels better than conventional solar systems and maintains the aesthetic value of your property.

    The company offers a performance guarantee and a 25-year warranty on their products. The equipment they install is also compatible with downloaded monitoring software, despite the fact that they don’t provide their own system monitoring app.

    competition, heats, residential, solar, installers

    The company offers 0 down financing for qualifying customers, which is great if you need a solar loan. However, some customers have noted that you may have to wait weeks (if not months) to get your system completely installed.


    One of the best parts of Yellowlite is that they offer a physical protection warranty for up to 30 years, which is longer than most companies offer.

    In addition, Yellowlite is an excellent choice because it provides a nice selection of solar equipment brands with the highest efficiency ratings. However, it’s crucial to note that their workmanship warranty is inadequate.

    The company does not offer leasing options, so you’ll want to be able to pay cash or get a loan through a third party.

    Paradise Energy Solutions

    Paradise Energy Solutions is a small and local installer that services Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, since the company is so small, only a few cities in Pennsylvania are served by the company. But if you live where they are available, they are worth looking into.

    Depending on the high-efficiency solar panels brand you choose, you’ll get up to 30 years of physical protection and a 10-year craftsmanship warranty. Keep in mind that this company does not offer leases or PPAs. So, you’ll only be able to pay in cash or get a solar loan.

    Solar SME

    Since 2014, Solar SME has installed solar panels on homes and businesses. The business installs solar batteries in Pennsylvania and six other states.

    Design, permitting, installation, inspection, monitoring, and maintenance are all handled exclusively by Solar SME since the company doesn’t employ any independent contractors.

    You’ll also be able to choose from a variety of solar financing plans, including leasing and a power purchase agreement (PPA). No matter what you choose, the installation comes with a 25-year warranty for equipment.

    How to Save Money When Hiring a Solar Company in Pennsylvania

    There are different ways to save money on your solar installation, no matter which company you choose. Here’s how.

    Tax Incentives and Rebates

    While the state of Pennsylvania doesn’t have many state rebates or incentives, there are still a few programs you can utilize. The best solar companies will point you in the right direction to help you take advantage of these incentives.

    Compare Companies

    Another way to save money is to compare companies. We suggest getting at least three estimates from different companies. Also, be sure to research why certain companies are cheaper — as an example, would it mean a smaller system and shorter warranty?

    Ask for a Discount

    It never hurts to ask for a discount from the company you choose. Be sure to ask nicely, or see if there are any ways to get a discount on your system (like a referral or loan).

    What to Consider Before Hiring a Company

    What should you think about before hiring a company for solar installation? We recommend these questions.

    Years in Service

    It’s a good idea to keep in mind that the solar contractor you choose should have completed numerous installations and refined their skills. Experienced solar installers use the proper installation methods and techniques.

    A professional with years of experience will also be knowledgeable about the best installation tools and equipment. We recommend a minimum of three years, but the longer the better.


    Selecting the ideal solar contractor is not always simple. Examining the contractor’s credentials and qualifications is among the most crucial things to do. Requesting to see their license and credentials is a good idea. Be sure to also research your state’s licensing requirements.

    Even though they are not required, certifications are a terrific way to feel secure as a consumer. The contractor needs to be certified by the Electronics Technicians Association, Roof Integrated Solar Energy, or the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

    Contractors must have at least a year of experience installing solar panels in order to obtain these certificates. In order to keep current, they also must re-certify every three years after that.


    Reputable businesses will always guarantee the quality of their job. Because of that, they should provide a warranty on the equipment they utilize as well as their workmanship. The specifics of those warranties, however, will differ from one contractor to the next.

    Make sure you understand the terms of any warranties offered by the company on the equipment it will be installing and ask about them.


    Trustworthy companies will have reviews and references from previous customers. Check the company’s reputation online and see what people have said about the company’s services to get an idea of quality, timeframe of installation, warranty, customer support, and workmanship.

    Payment Options

    One of the most challenging aspects of the procedure for the majority of homeowners is figuring out how to pay for their installation.

    However, many businesses provide financing to spread out the expense over a number of years. This makes it easier for you to install panels and enables you to benefit from energy savings without breaking the bank. Reputable contractors will also go over existing tax breaks and incentives to further reduce the cost of your installation.

    Are Solar Panels Worth it in Pennsylvania?

    With everything we’ve talked about, are solar panels worth it in Pennsylvania? Because of the following incentives, we’d say yes! Here’s what you need to know.

    The Federal Solar Tax Credit

    You can deduct 30% of the cost of a solar system from your federal income taxes thanks to the Clean Energy Credit. Systems installed between 2022 and 2032 are eligible for the 30% Clean Energy Credit. The credit expires in 2035.

    To claim the Clean Energy Credit, you’ll need to fill out form 5695 (PDF) and send it to the IRS. When you file your federal tax return for the year after your paperwork has been approved, you will be given a credit for your solar savings.

    Net Metering

    Once you have your solar system, you can sell extra solar generation to your utility company. In Pennsylvania, utilities are prohibited from charging net-metered consumers any costs that they wouldn’t charge a non-net-metered client and are required to offer net metering at non-discriminatory prices.

    Solar Alternative Energy Credits

    In the state of Pennsylvania, solar owners can receive one solar alternative energy credit (SAEC) for every megawatt-hour of power their system produces. Keep in mind that SAEC values change every day as a result of supply and demand, but you can use yours for three consecutive years.

    Wrapping Up

    Solar energy can save you money and eventually pay for itself, even though the initial cost is an investment. But where utility costs are high, like in the state of Pennsylvania, we’d say solar is worth the cost. And if you’re still looking for some of the best solar companies in Pennsylvania, you can look more into those we’ve listed!

    The 7 Best Solar Companies in Pennsylvania to Save You Money FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

    How much does a solar system cost in PA?

    On average, a solar system in Pennsylvania will cost around 20,000. Of course, it will depend on your home, personal needs, and the incentives you qualify for.

    Does PA have a solar tax credit?

    No, the state does not have a solar tax credit at this time.

    Can you sell electricity back to the grid in Pennsylvania?

    Yes, you can, using the state’s net metering rule.

    About the Author

    Kim Studdard

    Kim Studdard is a freelance writer from the South and transplanted in the Midwest. Her portfolio includes articles involving personal finance, dog treats and pet care, and technology, including the articles on History-Computer. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her spending time with her family and pets, reading, and completing her yearly bucket list.

    Thinking about going green while saving money on electric bills? The best solar companies offer a range of solar panel options and panel maintenance services.

    By Glenda Taylor and Evelyn Auer | Updated Jan 31, 2023 5:17 PM

    We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

    Although solar panels are still on the pricey side, they’re beginning to come down in cost, and their quality is increasing. One of the advantages of solar energy is a reduced carbon footprint, but installing solar panels is a job for a specialist—an average building contractor typically isn’t well versed in installing or repairing solar panels.

    Homeowners often have a general idea of what they’d like to accomplish by installing a solar energy system, as well as the main benefits of solar electricity, but not understanding the technical aspects behind going solar can keep them from realizing their dreams. That’s where the best solar companies come in. They can give homeowners accurate estimates of the installation cost, explain how much power the new panels will generate, and even detail how much a solar array is likely to reduce their utility bills. Homeowners will want to learn what to look for when selecting a solar company and find out why the following solar companies earned a spot in this lineup.

    What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Solar Companies

    For the best power-generating results, solar panels should be installed where they receive plenty of direct sunlight. But this factor varies depending on the home’s location, whether the yard has large trees, and the type and efficiency of the panels. Before choosing the best solar company, it pays for homeowners to consider vital factors that will affect both efficiency and cost.

    Service Area

    Many solar installation companies are located in larger metropolises. Still, with the growing popularity of this energy-saving product, more and more companies are setting up shop in rural areas. The service area of companies will vary, but many will consider anywhere within a 30-minute commute from its home office to be in its area. Those living outside the company’s service area may pay an additional travel fee to have the company come out and install a solar array.

    Home Location and Roof Type

    When a homeowner chooses to install solar panels, location is critical. In regions in the far northern U.S., short winter days may not provide sufficient sunlight to balance out the cost of having a solar array installed.

    Location isn’t limited to the general area; it also pertains to whether tall trees or buildings will block the sun’s rays for a substantial part of the day. In addition, roof type is a consideration. A roof with a slope that faces south is optimal for the installation of solar panels, but the roof structure on some homes may not be structurally sound enough to support a solar array. The installer may need to modify the roof or install the panels on a freestanding ground unit rather than on the roof.

    Type of Panels

    Solar panels all generate electricity, but they do so in different ways. The two main types of solar panels are photovoltaic and thermal, and within those categories are a few more (or less) common varieties.

    • Photovoltaic: The most common solar panel installed today, photovoltaic panels incorporate solar cells that convert sunlight to electrical power. Those looking to power a large percentage of their home’s energy needs will typically have photovoltaic panels installed.
    • Thermal: Not as common but still useful, solar thermal panels incorporate mirrors that reflect and concentrate the sun’s rays to create electricity. Thermal solar technology is more likely to be used for small energy purposes, such as powering a solar floodlight.
    • Monocrystalline: Produced from a single (mono) silicon crystal, these panels are dark black in color. They’re long lasting and compact, but they’re among the most expensive. They come with efficiency ratings of 20 to 25 percent (see “Efficiency and Performance” below). They are considered to be among the best solar panels for home use.
    • Polycrystalline: These solar panels are less expensive because they’re made from silicon fragments rather than a large silicon crystal. They’re more affordable than monocrystalline but not as efficient, ranging in efficiency from about 15 to 17 percent.
    • PERC: The acronym stands for Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell, and it’s a new technology that improves the efficiency of monocrystalline panels. The highest efficiency of all, PERC panels can be up to 5 percent more efficient than traditional monocrystalline panels.
    • Thin-film: Not quite as efficient as other types of panels, thin-film panels do not contain pricey crystalline silicon, which makes them more affordable. Depending on the quality of the individual panel, efficiency will typically range from 6 to 15 percent.

    On-Grid vs. Off-Grid

    Homeowners can install a stand-alone, off-grid solar array or an on-grid (also known as a grid-tie) array. Both come with a few benefits and considerations.

    An off-grid solar array is the best choice for those who want to be completely energy independent. It allows the user to generate all their electricity, and if a storm results in a municipal power outage, an off-grid system will continue to operate. Excess power is usually stored in large batteries, which can be thought of as renewable energy stocks, to help supplement electricity when it’s cloudy. However, if the off-grid system isn’t generating due to cloudy weather and battery stores are depleted, there is no alternate source of electricity.

    Many homeowners opt for a grid-tied system because they can usually sell the excess energy back to the utility company (called net metering). If it’s cloudy, their home can draw power from the utility. However, if the utility company experiences an outage, a grid-tied system immediately shuts down. This is for safety reasons: It would not be safe for a lineman to work on a downed power line if someone’s home solar array was sending electricity into the line. Those who have grid-tied systems can minimize outages by installing batteries from which to draw electricity during an outage.

    Efficiency and Performance

    Solar panels are becoming more efficient as manufacturers incorporate better technology, but how can consumers judge whether a specific panel is better than another? It’s all about percentages. The majority of solar panels have efficiency ratings of 15 to 20 percent. When the sun’s rays hit the panel, it will convert from 15 to 20 percent of the sun’s energy into electrical power.

    A few high-efficiency solar panels are up to 25 percent efficient, but for the most part, the top efficiency available today is about 22.8 percent. Cutting-edge scientists are working on methods to increase solar panel efficiency all the time, and lab tests show panels available in the future could be up to 40 percent efficient. Speaking with a professional installer will provide homeowners with a better idea of how much energy solar panels can provide than using a solar panel calculator online. They’ll also want to keep in mind that in order for panels to stay efficient, the panels may require occasional maintenance such as cleaning or repairs. It may be wise for a homeowner to learn how to clean solar panels or find the best solar panel cleaning services in their area.

    Manufacturers vs. Installers

    Many top solar companies are certified to install one or more brands of solar panels for home use, while a few solar companies both manufacture and install solar panels. The difference may not be significant to some consumers, especially those looking to get good deals on panel installation, but it often factors into the installation company’s guarantee. Companies that both make and install solar arrays are usually more likely to stand behind their product, benefiting consumers. On the flip side, a company that installs panels but doesn’t make them may require the customer to contact the manufacturer directly for warranty work.

    Consultation Process

    Many homeowners who are considering solar have questions like, “How many solar panels do I need?” or “How long do solar panels last?” Most solar energy companies offer a free consultation. This includes analyzing and evaluating the home’s location and determining the amount of direct sunlight it would receive, as well as giving customers a rundown of solar and addressing the homeowner’s specific questions and concerns. As part of the process, the company will often recommend a specific type of solar panel array. It should be able to give the homeowner an estimate of how much they stand to save on their current utility bill.

    Pricing and Financing

    In general, solar panel costs run from around 17,000 to 31,000 or more for equipment and installation, but this depends on the number of panels required and their efficiency ratings. Most homeowners will pay an average of around 24,000.

    Financing may be available through the solar company or a private lender. Homeowners may want to consider that a private lender will often require the homeowner to take out a second mortgage on their residence to secure the loan.

    Some homeowners find leasing solar panels to be a reasonable alternative. This allows the homeowner to reduce their carbon footprint while the leasing company owns the panels. Leases can last anywhere from 5 to 25 years, but depending on the lease payments, the homeowner may not realize much of a savings on their utility bill.


    In many communities, a permit is necessary to have solar panels installed. The cost of a permit varies, but the installer will usually factor it into the installation price. In addition, the installer will take the steps necessary to pull the permit.

    The homeowner lets the local building authority know they intend to install solar panels by obtaining a permit. The building authority will often send out an inspector to examine the panels, batteries, and wiring installation before giving the installer the green light to turn on the system.


    The initial consultation and obtaining the permit are the first two steps in the solar panel installation process. Once those are complete, the installer can order the panels and any other equipment that will be necessary.

    The physical installation is an exciting process, and the installer will make any modifications necessary to the roof to support the array. Next, the wiring system will be installed, and the panels will be mounted and connected to the system.

    The final process of switching the new system on may have to wait until an inspector checks everything out. The installer typically notifies the inspector ahead of time, so there’s little downtime between the final installation and turning the system on.


    In the solar panel industry, a limited 25-year guarantee is typical. This includes repairing the panels or replacing components that fail due to factory defects and installation errors. But be careful because not all warranties are as generous. Some cover only the cost of replacement parts, leaving the homeowner on the hook to pay the repair technicians. Others guarantee specific aspects of the system for shorter durations. For example, a company may offer a 25-year warranty on panel performance but only guarantee the inverter for half that length of time.

    Rebates and Tax Incentives

    A solar panel tax credit allows homeowners to deduct a certain percentage of their solar expenses from their income tax liability. Systems installed through 2032 are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. For example, if the solar panels cost 10,000 and the tax credit was 30 percent, the homeowner could reduce their income tax liability by 3,000.

    Additionally, states and local communities may offer tax incentives, or solar companies and manufacturers may offer rebates, but this changes frequently. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables Efficiency (DSIRE) website is a great resource for homeowners to find state-specific policies and incentives. The solar company installer can also answer questions about rebates and tax information.

    competition, heats, residential, solar, installers

    Customer Support

    Buying a solar array is a pricey prospect, and if something goes wrong, it’s good to know the solar company is there to handle the problem promptly. Virtually all solar companies have a call-in customer service number, and many have an emergency number for after-hours calls. Still others offer online consultations via chat or email, and some provide interactive troubleshooting to help the homeowner figure out the problem and schedule repairs (if needed). The more options a company offers, the higher the customer satisfaction in most cases.

    Our Top Picks

    We extensively researched dozens of solar companies that offer multistate solar installation services. The following companies were chosen for this roundup based on various aspects, including their service area, the type of solar panels they install, whether they offer financing, and client satisfaction.

    Top Solar Stocks for Q2 2023

    Nathan Reiff has been writing expert articles and news about financial topics such as investing and trading, cryptocurrency, ETFs, and alternative investments on Investopedia since 2016.

    Top-performing solar stocks—including Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd., First Solar Inc., and Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd.—have posted significant gains over the past year amid several quarters of record residential solar installations and the Inflation Reduction Act of August 2022, which provides tax incentives and other benefits to further accelerate the growth of renewable energy infrastructure.

    Select solar stocks surged while the benchmark Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) has fallen 1% over the last 12 months, outshining the Russell 1000 Index’s 9% decline.

    Here are the top three solar stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum. All company data are as of April 5, while benchmark data are as of April 7.

    Best Value Solar Stocks

    These are the solar stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows that you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

    Best Value Solar Stocks
    Price Market Capitalization (Market Cap) (B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
    Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ) 44.00 3.3 1.8
    Brookfield Renewable Corp. (BEPC) 33.84 5.8 3.9
    Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) 38.32 2.5 11.1
    • Daqo New Energy Corp.: Daqo is a Chinese solar energy company that manufactures polysilicon for sale to manufacturers of solar cells and modules. The company also builds photovoltaic wafers.
    • Brookfield Renewable Energy Corp.: Brookfield Renewable owns a portfolio of hydroelectric, wind, solar, and energy storage facilities across multiple continents, making it one of the world’s biggest publicly traded pure-play renewable energy companies. In late March, Brookfield announced that it will participate in a consortium to purchase Australian integrated power generator Origin Energy Ltd. for an enterprise value of 18.7 billion.
    • Canadian Solar Inc.: Canadian Solar designs, builds, and sells solar equipment for residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company’s products include solar modules, inverters, and system kits. Net income more than doubled and revenue climbed by 29% year-over-year for the final quarter of 2022, driven in part by a significant increase in solar module shipments.

    Fastest Growing Solar Stocks

    These are the top solar stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly year-over-year (YOY) percentage revenue growth and most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth.

    Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore, ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one figure or the other unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of more than 1,000% were excluded as outliers.

    Fastest Growing Solar Stocks
    Price Market Cap (B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
    Altus Power Inc. (AMPS) 5.07 0.8 600.0 24.0
    Brookfield Renewable Corp. (BEPC) 33.84 5.8 633.0 5.6
    Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ) 44.00 3.3 156.0 118.5
    • Altus Power Inc.: Altus is a commercial-scale clean electrification company providing solar generation, energy storage, and charging infrastructure nationwide. Net income attributable to the company rose by over 800% to 67.9 million for the most recent quarter reported. Net income growth was due in part to a 71.5 million non-cash gain from the remeasurement of warrants and alignment shares.
    • Brookfield Renewable Corp.: See company description above.
    • Daqo New Energy Corp.: See company description above.

    Solar Stocks With the Most Momentum

    These are the solar stocks that had the highest total return over the past 12 months.

    Solar Stocks With the Most Momentum
    Price Market Cap (B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
    Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd. (ENLT) 16.47 1.7 740.3
    First Solar Inc. (FSLR) 201.61 21.5 151.0
    Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd. (MAXN) 27.96 1.3 100.1
    Russell 1000 Index N/A N/A -9.4
    Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) N/A N/A -1.2
    • Enlight Renewable Energy Ltd.: Enlight is a developer and owner of solar, wind, and energy storage projects in the U.S., Europe, and Israel. For the fourth quarter of 2022, Enlight reported record revenue of 61 million, a 74% increase from the prior year due mainly to growth in its Isreal and Western Europe business.
    • First Solar Inc.: First Solar designs and manufactures photovoltaic solar power systems and solar modules, serving customers around the world. Global renewable energy firm EDP Renewables finalized an order in March for 1.8 gigawatts of First Solar advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules, to be delivered through 2028. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    • Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd.: Maxeon is a Singaporean solar company building and distributing a variety of solar energy components globally.

    The Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on Solar Stocks

    The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden in August 2022, has had a significant impact on solar stocks. The law provides tax credits and rebates to incentivize Americans to use clean energy, including solar energy. The White House says that 7.5 million additional families will be able to install solar technology on their roofs with a 30% tax credit as a result of the law. Solar stocks posted significant gains following the law’s passage as demand for solar products increased.

    Advantages of Investing in Solar Stocks

    Two significant advantages of investing in solar stocks include the overall growth of the energy industry and the Rapid growth in demand for alternative energy sources.

    Market Size: The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global energy investment rose 8% in 2022, reaching a total of 2.4 trillion, which is above the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic. Solar output increased 22% to 1,003 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2021, a record increase in terms of output. Still, IEA researchers estimate output needs to increase sevenfold by 2030—or 25% annually—for the world to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    Growth of Alternative Energy: The IEA expects policies in major economies to help boost annual investments in alternative energy to 2 trillion by 2030, representing an increase of more than 50% from current levels.

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