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.