Science Energy Best Renewable Energy Companies Make your life as sustainable as possible By Kiah Treece Kiah Treece University of Toledo College of Law University of Florida University of Miami Kia Treece is a writer, scientist, and sustainability coach specializing in environmental policy, off-grid living, zero waste, and vegan lifestyle. She holds a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental Law from the University of Toledo. Learn about our editorial process Updated November 15, 2022 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Energy Renewable Energy Fossil Fuels We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Treehugger / Amelia Manley As the world moves away from fossil fuels and dependence on nonrenewable energy, companies dedicated to making alternative energy options more accessible are becoming increasingly more important and high profile. Whether solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, or biofuel, these companies are not only taking steps to end dependence on fossil fuels, but also present potentially promising investment opportunities. To demystify the current renewable energy landscape and help you make educated investments, we identified the best renewable energy companies out there. On the financial side, we looked at factors like free cash flow, balance sheet health, and share price. We also evaluated the steps each company is taking to move its operations toward a more sustainable future. 5 Best Renewable Energy Companies of 2022 Best Overall: Canadian Solar Inc. Best Wind Energy: TPI Composites Best Hydroelectric Power: Brookfield Renewable Partners Best Biofuel: Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Best Utility Company: NextEra Energy Best Overall: Canadian Solar Inc. Canadian Solar Inc. Learn More Why We Chose It: Candian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) stands out because of its impressive global solar market share and its 100% fair trade approach to renewable energy generation. What We Like: - Taking steps to reduce electricity and water consumption in manufacturing - 100% fair trade What We Don’t Like: - Quarterly growth is not as substantial as some other renewable energy companies Canadian Solar Inc. is an Ontario-based energy company that focuses on the design, manufacture, and sale of solar modules, inverters, system kits, and utility-level products. Founded in 2001, the company has subsidiaries on six continents and active customers in more than 160 countries. The company operates in accordance with the principles of fair trade and does not purchase conflict minerals or employ child labor. The welfare of its more than 13,500 employees is very important to Canadian Solar. It also takes the environment and conservation very seriously. In fact, the company continues to reduce the water and electricity consumed as part of the manufacturing process in an effort to combat climate change. Canadian Solar also incorporated the United Nations’ sustainable development goals into its corporate strategy through steps like donating solar modules to a medical center in Sierra Leone. Best Wind Energy: TPI Composites TPI Composites Learn More Why We Chose It: As the largest producer of composite wind blades in the U.S., TPI Composites (TPIC) is a top pick because of its strong financials and commitment to the environment, health, and safety. What We Like: - Largest manufacturer of composite wind blades in the U.S. - Record net sales in 2021 - Comprehensive environmental plan as well as top notch health and safety standards What We Don’t Like: - Doesn’t display as substantial a commitment to social responsibility as other companies on our list Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, TPI Composites is the largest manufacturer of composite wind blades in the U.S. In fact, the company has manufactured more than 75,000 wind blades since 2001. The units produced between 2017 and 2021 have the potential to reduce CO2 by over 1.5 billion metric tons during their 20-year lifespan. In addition to its headquarters, TPI Composites has several locations in the U.S. and international facilities in China, Germany, Denmark, India, Mexico, Spain, and Turkey. With its manufacturing spread across the globe, the company employs over 14,000 associates. This provides jobs to people in many communities and allows the company to build connections and business contacts around the globe. The company achieved record net sales during 2021, despite year over year declines in the fourth quarter of that year. From a sustainability standpoint, TPI Composites excels because of its comprehensive environmental plan and standards. The company also takes health and safety extremely seriously. It’s also committed to considering and reducing the impacts of its facilities on the environment, with nine of its facilities earning ISO 14001 certification for having effective environmental management systems in place. They plan for the remaining facilities to be certified by the end of 2023. Best Hydroelectric Power: Brookfield Renewable Partners Brookfield Renewable Partners Learn More Why We Chose It: Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP) is one of our top picks because it has had one of the largest impacts on reducing global emissions of CO2 and has a robust energy portfolio. What We Like: - One of the world’s largest renewable energy companies - Exhibits substantial growth, especially in the solar sector - Its renewable energy plants are responsible for a huge reduction in CO2 emissions What We Don’t Like: - Large and complicated company with many business areas, making it difficult to understand Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners is a renewable energy company with more than $750 billion in assets under management. The portfolio of renewable power companies includes upwards of 6,000 power generation facilities across North America, South America, Asia, India, China and Europe with a total of around 24,000 MW in energy capacity. This business area represents around 68 billion of the company's assets under management. Hydroelectric power is the largest component in Brookfield's renewable portfolio as it is currently their single largest producer of megawatts. The portfolio also includes diverse holdings in wind and solar, with a move to acquire the business of solar utility Exelon. Currently, the company employs over 3,200 people just in the renewable power section of its business. And like other companies on our list, Brookfield’s portfolio has contributed to massive reductions in global emissions. More specifically, the portfolio helps avoid about 29 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year—the equivalent of removing about 6 million vehicles from the road annually. Best Biofuel: Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Learn More Why We Chose It: We chose Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REGI) as the best biofuel company due to its large levels of fuel production in the U.S. and its use of byproducts that might otherwise be wasted resources. What We Like: - One of the largest biodiesel producers in the U.S. by volume - Refines biofuels from byproducts, thus reducing waste and improving efficiency - Produced 480 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2021 What We Don’t Like: - Biofuels are not as sustainable and environmentally friendly as some other energy sources due to agricultural concerns Renewable Energy Group, Inc. made its first biodiesel in 1996 and is one of the largest biodiesel producers by volume in the U.S. The company achieved 4.1 million metric tons of carbon reduction in 2021. Originally created as a way to increase the value of co-op members’ grain, REGI continues its dedication to environmental and social responsibility. In addition to producing and delivering renewable fuels, REGI reduces its footprint by making fuels from byproducts that might otherwise go to waste. In addition, the company aims to increase efficiency and improve its biorefineries in a way that promotes profitability and responsible resource management. In 2022, this company was acquired by Chevron to help the company diversify and prepare for a future powered by more renewable energy sources. Best Utility Company: NextEra Energy NextEra Energy Learn More Why We Chose It: NextEra is our top renewable energy utility company because it is the nations’s largest producer of wind and solar energy and the world's largest utility company. What We Like: - Largest producer of wind and solar energy in the nation - Making efforts to reduce its own CO2 emissions - Recognition from Fortune What We Don’t Like: - Owns and operates oil, natural gas, and coal power plants As the largest producer of wind and solar energy in the country and world's largest utility company, NextEra Energy (NEE) has reduced their dependence on foreign oil by 98% since 2001. The company owns Florida Power & Light Company as well as NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a competitive clean energy business. As part of its renewable energy and sustainability initiatives, NextEra Energy has committed to eliminating its CO2 emissions by 2045. The company also makes efforts to minimize the impacts of its operations on wildlife and ecosystems and prevent pollution stemming from energy production. That said, NextEra still owns and operates plants powered by oil, natural gas, and coal so it’s not an ideal choice if you’re investing exclusively in clean energy. The company has committed 50 to 55 billion dollars of investment in American infrastructure through the end of 2022. As of November 2022, on their homepage they claim a 945% total shareholder return over the last 15 years. Additionally, NextEra increased its development expectations through 2022 to reflect growth in its renewable energy projects, and leadership believes the company will meet its long-term growth objectives. Bottom Line Renewable energy continues to grow in popularity as technology improves and the cost to consumers decreases. But with so many alternative energy options available, it can be difficult to determine the most significant companies in this burgeoning industry. Canadian Solar, our overall best renewable energy company, combines impressive growth with corporate, social, and environmental responsibility. Plus, the company’s wide selection of solar products for residential, commercial, and utility use makes it a huge player in the renewable energy space. What Is Renewable Energy? Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are not finite and that replenish naturally. Also referred to as clean energy or alternative energy, common types of renewable energy include solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biodiesel. In contrast, nonrenewable energy sources—like oil and natural gas—will either run out or fail to be replenished in our lifetimes. What Is the Most Widely Used Renewable Energy? The top two sources of renewable energy in the United States are wind and hydro with wind having surpassed hydro to be number one during 2019. What Is the Cheapest Source of Renewable Energy? Hydroelectric power is the cheapest source of renewable energy, costing an average of just $0.05 per kilowatt hour (kWh). By comparison, other renewable energy sources like solar photovoltaic, onshore wind, biomass, and geothermal energy are typically below $0.10 per kWh; offshore wind is around $0.13 per kWh. How We Chose the Best Renewable Energy Companies To select the best renewable energy companies, we looked at factors that illustrate each company’s financial strength, like quarterly earnings and growth. We also considered each service’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and to improve their local and global communities through more sustainable practices. View Article Sources Bowers, Richard. "Wind Has Surpassed Hydro As Most-Used Renewable Electricity Generation Source in U.S." U.S. Energy Information Administration. "Is Renewable Energy Cheaper?" Inspire Clean Energy. "Cost of Renewable Energy." Inspire Clean Energy.