COVID-19 Accelerates Reduction of GHG Emissions in US: 4 Picks

According to a new study revealed by the research group, BloombergNEF, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are predicted to decline 9% in 2020 from the 2019 level. This would mark the lowest level emissions in at least the past three decades.

This indicates the possibility of increased clean energy adoption in the nation, thereby enticing investors to add renewable stocks to their portfolios.

Role of COVID-19 in GHG Emission Reduction

We know that the transportation and power sectors along with industrial activities are primarily responsible for burning of fossil fuels, resulting in emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. With the coronavirus pandemic-induced travel as well as business restrictions, electricity demand, travel and industrial activities witnessed a significant decline.

BloombergNEF stated that in the absence of the COVID-19 crisis, U.S. GHG emissions in 2020 would have reduced only 1% from 2019. It was the mandated cessation of economic activities to stop the spread of coronavirus that led to the additional reduction of 8%.

Solid Installation Trends Visible

Clean energy investors should be further encouraged by the steep increase in solar and wind installations in the nation in recent times. Notably, solar and wind constitute a major portion of renewable industry in the United States.

Per data provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. solar market installed 3.5 gigawatts-direct current (GWdc) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, which reflects a 52% year-over-year increase.

As stated in its latest report by the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. wind industry installed nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity in the third quarter of 2020, setting a record for third-quarter additions.

Notably, wind turbine installations through the third quarter increased 72% on a year-over-year basis.

Therefore, when the majority of industries are still in an early stage of recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to conclude that the U.S. renewable space is thriving.

What’s Ahead?

With the pandemic not expected to die out anytime soon, travel and business restrictions will remain albeit to a lesser extent as resumption of economic activities is taking place but at a slow pace. In line with this, BloombergNEF forecasts GHG emissions to increase in 2021 but lingering coronavirus disruptions will keep emissions 5% lower than in 2019.

Stocks to Buy

Considering the aforementioned discussion, investors may add the following renewable industry stocks that boast strong historical performance and an impressive outlook:

SunPower Corporation


designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells high-performance solar electric power technology products like solar cells and panels. The company boasts a solid four-quarter average earnings surprise of 49.23% and is estimated to generate earnings growth of 324.3% in 2021. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Ameresco, Inc.


is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America and the United Kingdom. The company boasts a solid four-quarter average earnings surprise of 68.56% and long-term earnings growth rate of 17.50%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see

the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here


Azure Power Global Ltd


is a producer and developer of solar energy. The company boasts a solid four-quarter average earnings surprise of 71.15% and is estimated to generate sales growth of 11.5% in 2021. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

ReneSola Ltd


is a leading international brand in solar project development, construction, operations and asset management. The company boasts a solid four-quarter average earnings surprise of 41.46% and is estimated to generate earnings growth of 925% in 2021. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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