Increase Your Luck On St. Patrick's Day Investing in Green Energy

By Tomas H. Lucero

   On St. Patrick’s Day, humankind needs all of the luck it can get to deal with the challenges of climate change. Now is as good a time as any to consider the value of green energy investments. They could be fortunate choices.

   Quoted by Yahoo Finance, the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi stated that “most indicators suggest a sustained recovery is taking hold" in the European Union. Since the EU once led the way in the development of alternative energy, stability in the region means a likely return of prosperity to this sector.

   Innovative technologies, for example 3D printing, are dramatically improving wind and solar energy capabilities. Currently, China is the global leader in harnessing these resources, followed by the United States. A third player, India, one of the largest markets in the world, is set to ramp up its efforts to bring wind and solar energy technologies to its people.

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   Yahoo Finance also reports that major growth is expected in solar energy generation and in the industry itself: “At home, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) expects utility-scale solar capacity to increase by over 60% between the end of 2014 and 2016." This means that the U.S. is moving from powering a few homes with photovoltaic sources to entire communities. This change bodes well for workers in the solar power industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association has announced that the industry grew 30 percent in 2014.

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   Another driver of the green energy solutions economy is government policy. In the U.S., the Obama Administration’s prioritization of developing alternative energy sources has resulted in favorable regulations and budget appropriations for the industry. According to Yahoo Finance, “[the President’s] fiscal 2016 budget proposal seeks an approximate 7.2% rise in funding for clean energy.” Investors would do well to keep an eye out for what steps other governments around the world take to motivate growth in the green industry.

   Based on information by Yahoo Finance, three good stocks to start with are: JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO), First Solar Inc. (FSLR), and SunEdison Inc. (SUNE).

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