by Michael A. Robinson, Editor, Strategic Tech Investor
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In one hour, the sun produces enough energy to power 2,880 trillion light bulbs.
With that much energy, you could hand every single person in the world a light bulb that will shine for their entire lifetime.
The fact is every five days, the sun provides the Earth with as much energy as all the proven supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas on the entire planet.
And we are now riding a tremendous wave of advancements and new technology that could soon render these traditional means of generating electricity obsolete.
What’s more, these revolutionary advances also provide savvy investors with a rare investment opportunity.
To be blunt: Recent solar innovations promise to be every bit as monumental as when the world went from the horse and buggy to the automobile…
According to Bloomberg, the oncoming solar revolution will be worth $2.2 trillion in the years ahead.
But it won’t stop in just a few years.
This will be a multidecade trend, creating an incredible long- and short-term opportunity for those wanting to build life-changing wealth.
And this is your chance to jump on board with the four companies that’ll make the global shift possible in the first place.
Before I get into that, however, let me introduce myself.
My name is Michael Robinson. I’m a 35-year Silicon Valley veteran and director of technology and venture capital research at Money Morning.
In the 1980s, I worked alongside Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, as they led the early robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
In the late 1990s, I took part in the meetings that mapped out what’s set to become the $696 billion cloud computing market.
And I worked closely with a startup that developed a microsensor prototype for our smartphones, smart cars, smart homes, and any “smart technology.”
In 2006, that company was sold for $126 million.
Today, I work with some of the most exciting small tech companies on the planet.
I’m highly involved as an advisor to an intelligent robotics firm on the verge of a major breakthrough.
They’re working side by side with Bosch and Nvidia, creating automated delivery bots of the future powered by their groundbreaking artificial intelligence.
In short, I’ve made it my business to be involved with the most cutting-edge high-tech advancements of our time.
And I can tell you that nothing compares to the size and scope of the solar revolution or the speed at which it’s coming to us.
This will be nothing less than one of the biggest technological transformations of our lifetime.
Here’s what you need to know…
Capturing the Sun’s Energy
Solar energy is the cleanest, most abundant renewable energy source available.
That’s because our sun is a natural nuclear reactor. It constantly releases tiny packets of energy called photons, which travel the 93 million miles to Earth in about eight minutes.
When photons hit a solar cell made of silicon, they knock electrons loose from their atoms and form an electrical circuit. Multiple cells make up a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel, and multiple panels can be wired together to form a solar array.
Solar arrays then harness the energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.
It’s beautifully simple and clean, and it’s getting more efficient and affordable all the time.
In fact, since the energy crisis of the 1970s spurred major interest in using solar to produce electricity, rapidly falling prices have made solar more affordable than ever.
Partly due to the federal government’s 30% investment tax credit, the home solar market in the United States is growing at an average rate of 50% every year.
Right now, there are more than 13.5 million individual solar installations in the U.S., ranging from small home rooftop systems to large utility-scale systems that add hundreds of megawatts of clean electricity to the power grid.
Meanwhile, the average price of a fully installed system has plummeted over the last decade, from around $40,000 to $13,500 today after solar tax credits.
And you can expect that rate of growth to continue or accelerate.
Starting on January 1, 2020, a California law stipulates that every newly built house must be equipped with a solar electric system. California builds roughly 80,000 new homes every year. That’s a whopping $1.08 billion annual booster shot to the solar industry.
Yet all this growth is taking place as traditional silicon solar panels have only reached half of their potential. Today, the run-of-the-mill solar panel only operates at 18% efficiency, which means that 82% of the sunlight that hits is lost and not converted into electricity.
But new advances are about to change all that. You see, new technology is coming online that will help solar explode by leaps and bounds.
As solar efficiency continues to skyrocket, technological breakthroughs will drive down costs and solar products will become even more widespread.
These advances will quickly drive solar energy abundance into our present-day lives… while it kicks coal, oil, and gas to the energy curb.
Solar Energy Shining Brightly on High-Tech Innovation
Historically, inefficient electrical production has stood as the greatest barrier to large-scale solar adoption. Yet the efficiency of PV cells has improved exponentially since their invention.
Several companies now sell solar panels with up to 23% efficiency, a 5% efficiency increase from standard panels. And that’s only just the beginning.
Because even these improvement rates are beginning to be challenged by innovations borne from research and development.
New materials and innovations are now on track to double the performance of PV cells, promising cheap, efficient, and abundant solar energy.
As the price-performance ratio of solar technologies begins to undercut traditional energy sources, we will soon witness the mass integration of solar cells into everyday infrastructure.
Imagine every window and every glass surface capturing solar energy – buildings as tall as skyscrapers completely powered by clean energy, free of any mounts, grids, or solar panel installations.
It’s all happening right now. Researchers are developing solar windows through clear films – placed on traditional window glass – that generate power by absorbing UV light.
Within the next decade, commercialized solar-capturing glass could begin to wrap the exterior of every skyscraper, school, and residential rooftop, all while generating abundant, clean solar energy.
Solar panels will be widely installed across urban and semiurban areas, embedded in our infrastructure, transparent surfaces, and even transportation systems.
New advancements in solar panels will bring this future to fruition. Here are just a few cutting-edge products coming to your neighborhood soon:
- Solar slate roofs – These will not only fuel your household activities, but they’ll also save you money. Solar roofs can cost less than traditional roofing materials. Numerous startups have begun tackling solar tiles and solar roofing technologies, aiming to integrate them seamlessly into the construction of homes.
- Paving the way for solar-powered roads – The sidewalks along Route 66 – America’s historic highway – are testing solar-powered pavement tech. The tests also include LED bulbs that can light roads at night and have the thermal heating capacity to melt snow during the winter. After sidewalk tests, the plan is to install PV systems on segments of Route 66.
- Wearable solar – Tiny solar panels can now be stitched into the fabric of clothing and other textiles. This makes it possible for solar to expand into home products like window curtains and even heated car seats.
- Battery storage – When your solar panels produce more electricity than you can use in your home, the excess is stored in the battery pack instead of being sent back into the electric grid. Later, when your panels aren’t producing enough electricity, you can use the electricity stored in your battery instead of having to buy it from your utility company.
This may sound futuristic, but these technologies are happening as you read this.
Investing in the New Solar
I’m sure you’re beginning to see that – as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow – solar is a proven technology. And that makes it an investment that could mean tremendous wealth ahead.
The fact that the means of gathering solar energy have been around for 50+ years but are untapped means there’s a relatively small market for now. It was worth only $52.5 billion in 2018, but as we were talking about at the start, it’s set to become a $2.2 trillion goliath.
That’s a 4,090.5% increase.
So that’ll mean if you position yourself and your money correctly, you could carve off the king’s ransom of those profits.
The four companies we’ll target are a part of these main categories:
- Solar-panel makers are the companies that manufacture solar panels and the solar cells they’re made of.
- YieldCos typically develop large-scale utility and commercial solar projects and make their money by selling the power to utilities or industrial users.
- Solar installers sell, install, and maintain solar systems, primarily to residential and business customers.
- Solar component and accessory manufacturers sell solar-power optimizers, inverters, mounting racks, and battery storage systems directly to solar-panel makers for integration in a solar power system.
Here are four stocks that fill the criteria perfectly and provide you with a huge opportunity in 2020… and beyond.
ABB Ltd (ABB)
ABB has one of the widest portfolios of solar inverters – an essential component of every solar array, accounting for roughly 15% of overall costs. Inverters take the DC (direct current) electricity produced by all solar cell systems and converts it to the AC (alternating current) used by all U.S. electric grids. ABB’s extensive range of solar inverters is suitable for the smallest residential photovoltaic systems right up to multimegawatt PV power plants.
Eaton Corp. PLC (ETN)
Dublin, Ireland-based Eaton is a major supplier of complete solar PV residential, commercial, and utility installations. The company offers extensive support services provided by hundreds of application and field service engineers, as well as comprehensive, hands-on training.
Emerson Electric Co. (EMR)
Emerson designs and manufactures tracking systems (comprised of motors, gearboxes, and intelligent software) that ensure solar arrays are positioned for maximum exposure to the sun. The company also offers high-efficiency power-conversion inverters with built-in intelligence that maximizes energy yield.
Siemens AG (SIEGY)
Siemens is the unquestioned leader in developing concentrated solar thermal power plants with over 70 of its plants in operation worldwide. Backed by decades of experience and its reputation as a reliable partner in the energy sector, the company develops and builds state-of-the-art steam turbine generators, instrumentation, and controls. That makes it a one-stop supplier for all key components of solar power plants.
Bottom line: While they offer great value at current prices, these four companies also have immense growth potential. That makes them best in class in solar, both now and for the long term.
Michael A. Robinson
Director of Technology and Venture Capital Research