The clean energy revolution just hit another major milestone. Solar and wind company NextEra Energy dethroned ExxonMobil as America’s most valuable energy company.
NextEra Energy (NEE) , the nation’s largest renewable energy company, briefly surpassed Exxon in market capitalization on Friday, according to UBS. That made NextEra the most valuable company among all US energy and utility stocks. It’s a stunning feat given that Exxon was the most valuable publicly-traded company on the planet as recently as 2013. By Monday afternoon, Exxon (XOM) had a market value of $142.2 billion, about $1 billion more than NextEra.
Although the moment was fleeting, it puts an exclamation point on the extreme optimism around clean energy and deep pessimism about the future of fossil fuels.
“Investor sentiment on clean tech stocks is the best it has ever been,” Pavel Molchanov, energy analyst at Raymond James, told CNN Business in an email.
But the fact that NextEra is even close to Exxon in market value is also stunning because it generates much less revenue. Exxon raked in $265 billion in revenue last year, compared with just $19.2 billion for NextEra.
While Exxon is the poster child of the fossil fuels industry, little-known NextEra has become a proxy for bets on renewable energy. The Florida-based company calls itself the world’s largest utility and the biggest generator of wind and solar energy.
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