New figures that go into these charts above will keep coming out.

Of course, there’s a caveat that investors would be wise to remember. These stocks have a history of extreme volatility based on multiple factors: competition from China, where the government has heavily subsidized renewable manufacturers; uncertainty over government subsidies in many nations; and a lot of attention from hedge-fund shorts.

Look at First Solar: The biggest solar stock IPO’d at $27 a decade ago, went all the way to the dizzying heights of $300 when oil hit $147 a barrel in 2008, and then dropped to $11 as if it were about to go bankrupt when Chinese solar-panel makers glutted the industry in 2011–12. But its shares are up 90 percent this year, at $60.

That’s a lot of volatility the solar-panel maker came through over the past decade. Today I am comfortable saying to investors that for all the ups and downs, renewable energy is never going backward.

Call me Captain Obvious, but I have a hunch that the latest figures will show even more global commitment to renewables. The bottom line is that alternative energy isn’t so alternative anymore.

Mitch Goldberg, president of investment advisory firm ClientFirst Strategy

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