Over the past decade, demand for solar energy has skyrocketed in the United States and abroad – a trend that is expected to continue well into the 2020s. Despite the consistent growth of this transformative market, investment into the solar sector has been volatile and met with mixed results.

Solar stocks, for instance, have taken investors on a wild ride time and again. There are several reasons for this, such as uncertainty in tax incentives, global trade restrictions and supply gluts. But there has also been a common thread to these historically unpredictable investments. Most publicly listed solar companies manufacture solar energy equipment, and solar manufacturing is a hyper-competitive business where bankruptcies, exits and consolidations are the norm.

Institutional investors must balance stakeholder demands for more sustainable portfolios with the need for consistent returns over a long period of time. So, what are the best options? Turns out, investing in solar energy projects rather than technology and manufacturing can deliver on both fronts.

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