In some ways, this may seem like a strange time to be talking about renewable energy. The Trump administration is extremely pro-fossil fuel and have rolled back environmental regulations and rubber-stamped pipeline and other infrastructure programs at a record rate. The fact is though, politics aside, the inexorable march towards replacing oil and coal for power generation continues, and that is not just the view of environmentalists and activists.
BP’s Energy Outlook Report for 2019 was released last week, and the oil giant predicts that global energy demand will continue to increase, but that 85% of that increase will be met by renewables and natural gas. That is a long-term trend, but the problem for investors has been how to play it.
The renewable energy market has been so heavily subsidized that assessing specialist businesses in the field has been difficult, if not impossible. The big, integrated firms have embraced alternatives, but they still make up such a small part of their revenue that their stock is not really a play on that field.
Given the many failures and disappointments in alternative energy investments as subsidies are reduced and removed, the best way for investors to play the shift is to look for proven success, and on that basis, NextEra Energy (NEE) is a smart holding in long-term portfolios.
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