The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, or S&P 500, tracks the market or stock of 500 of the leading publicly traded companies in the U.S. Many regard S&P 500 as the performance of America’s best equities and the stock market. Most of the green energy stocks in the S&P 500 feature in the S&P Clean Energy Index.
The S&P Clean Energy Index measures the performance of companies in global clean energy-related businesses. The index includes the top 100 cleanest energy companies from both developed and emerging markets. As governments worldwide accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and work towards mitigating climate change, S&P Clean Energy Index aims to track companies producing renewable energy from solar, hydro, wind, biomass, and other sources. It also tracks companies building and providing clean energy.
Green Energy Stocks in S&P 500
1. Enphase Energy
Enphase Energy is an energy management company. It provides solar power solutions to businesses and homeowners. They design, install and commission solar panels. They supplied and helped with solar installations for 140 families globally.
2. Consolidated Edison Inc.
Consolidated Edison is the second largest solar producer in North America. Based in New York, it provides gas to approximately 1.1 million people and electricity to 3.3 million people. The company envisions a clean future for the world’s energy grid. It has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through investments in renewable energy, supporting the transition to cleaner heating alternatives, and using renewable natural gas wherever possible. Through its energy-efficient programs, the company has avoided 5.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions so far. The company is trying to work with only those vendors that adhere to its sustainability standards.
3. Xinyi Solar Holdings Limited
Xinyi Solar is a global solar glass manufacturer. They deal in process optimization, manufacturing automation, technical sales support, and after-sales service of solar glass products. The company is heavily invested in solar farm project developments. The investments include construction, operation, engineering design, and monitoring of large-scale utility solar projects. After more than ten years of progress, today, Xinyi is the world’s largest solar PV glass manufacturer. Up till December 2021, Xinyi had a total capacity of 5.4 GW of solar PV plants, generating around 5.9 billion kilowatts a year. This is equivalent to carbon emission reductions of 4.94 million tons.
4. Plug Power Inc.
Plug Power is an American company. It engages in the development of hydrogen fuel cell batteries. Hydrogen fuel cell batteries can replace conventional batteries in vehicles, appliances, and equipment running on electricity. Its innovative technology is powering electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells. They address climate change and energy security through their technology and meet sustainability goals.
The company generates ‘green’ hydrogen from solely renewable energy. Their customers include big leagues like Walmart and Amazon. They’ve partnered with various local organizations around the world to provide green hydrogen to everyone everywhere. Plug Power is the leader in building a hydrogen economy.
5. First Solar
First Solar is a solar energy company. They develop, engineer, construct and operate large grid-connected solar PV power plants around the world. The company has the lowest water usage and lowest carbon footprint of any PV technology. Their financials are incredibly stable. Headquartered in Arizona, they have a presence in more than five countries and almost on every continent. They advocate recycling and supply chain transparency in their operations. Since 2009, due to the implementation of low-carbon projects and resource conservation at its facilities, the company has successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and environmental impact.
Enel is a green energy company. The company manages over 1,200 power plants spread across five continents. They have assets under construction in 21 countries. Their global renewable energy productions include:
7.94 GW of solar energy
16.91 GW of wind energy
28.38 GW of hydroelectric energy
0.92 GW of geothermal energy
0.06 GW of biomass energy
The company is driving the shift to a decarbonized economy. Apart from producing renewable energy, the company also offers innovative sustainable business solutions. Some of their business partners include Adobe and McDonald’s. As an example of what the company has achieved in terms of sustainability, McDonald’s uses 100% renewable energy provided by Enel Green Power to operate its chain of restaurants in Guatemala. The agreement between the fast-food giant and Enel prevents 16,420 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Energy security is a major challenge in many energy markets across the globe. Energy from renewable and clean sources helps us bridge this energy security challenge.
Green energy stocks in S&P 500 play a crucial role in securing sustainable energy with lesser emissions.
Innovations in green energy make the renewable energy industry and, in turn, the whole world resilient to the impacts of climate change. Renewable energy is available to all. In many parts of the world, renewable energy is the cheapest form of power. Thus, it ensures equality and justice regarding who and how many people have access to green energy.
Expanding green energy companies in developing nations will allow all inhabitants access to energy, particularly those living in informal settlements.
Green energy companies promote community energy projects. These projects associate democracy with driving the transition to renewable energy. It enables green businesses to have direct relations with local communities and businesses.
Renewable energy businesses benefit the global economy and people. Although the way we obtain renewable energy isn’t 100% carbon-free (there are still minor carbon emissions associated with it), it has tremendous potential to make our air and water cleaner, cut down on waste, and help the world develop resilience to the impacts of climate change. Another huge advantage is that renewable energy can and will never run out.
Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.