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Ethical Investors: The “Green” Economy Could Get a Hot New Stock

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Here’s a name you might be hearing a lot more of soon: Heliogen. It’s a business that few investors will have heard of yet, but it’s made a breakthrough that could potentially revolutionize the solar energy sector.

Using a nifty combination of AI and mirrors, Heliogen has made headlines by generating +1000ºC heat in a new way. “Replacing Fuels With Sunlight” is the company’s motto, with a mission statement to match that aims to disrupt the conventional hydrocarbon energy market with clean alternatives, including natural intense heat generation and “green hydrogen,” marketed as HelioFuel.

Heliogen has emerged from the shadows under the backing of Bill Gates. Gates has weighed in on energy trends before, backing nuclear as a potential mainstream clean energy source due for a rebound.

This time Gates is pushing Heliogen into the lime light, and there’s even the possibility that the clean energy outfit will go public.

Gates is bullish on the new solar tech breakthrough being able to replace fossil fuel. The business also has the backing of Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of the Los Angeles Times. Heliogen CEO Bill Gross nailed why the business is so necessary in a pithy soundbite: “We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions. And that’s really the holy grail.”

What else is hot in the green economy right now?

Renewables form part of a global trend in the zero emissions economy. With a growing interest in protecting the environment and reducing the harmful impacts of single-use plastics, intensive animal farming, and hydrocarbon fuels, investors have multiple options to cash in on almost limitless growth. Alternative protein has already been shown to generate steep upward momentum, for instance.

Northland Power (TSX:NPI) is a key renewables stock that offers green investors and anyone interested in the global mega-trend in low hydrocarbon energy access to huge, guilt-free upside potential.

Some estimates put wind energy ahead of nuclear in its ability to overtake the hydrocarbon sector. If so, Northland is a strong buy thanks to its stake in world-class European wind farming.

In other green news, Restaurant Brands is diving deeper into the alternative protein trend, adding more meat-free options. The Tim Hortons’ owner has been keen to add meatless products to menus across its three major brands, which also include Burger King and Popeyes. The global meatless food market could be worth $18 billion over the course of the next six years.

Northland pays a 4.35% yield at its current valuation and could form part of a green economy segment of a long-term passive income portfolio. Restaurant Brands would also suit this type of investment style and currently pays a moderately tasty 3% dividend.

The bottom line

If Heliogen can scale fast enough and persuade the energy sector that solar is the way forward, its IPO, if it happens, could prove to be instantly popular. In the meantime, new investors have a strong play for both passive income and steep capital gains in green economy stocks such as Northland.

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Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Fool contributor Victoria Hetherington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC and has the following options: short January 2020 $94 calls on Restaurant Brands International and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft.

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