Looking for a Green Stock? Check Out ABB

03/19/2012
SustainableBusiness.com News

With offshore wind taking off in a big, big way in Europe, many people wonder how they might invest in that.

Wind turbine manufacturers are suffering in similar ways to the solar industry and aren't a good bet right now.

But when you think about the critical infrastructure - much of which is holding offshore wind back right now - you think of the shortage of transmission lines to connect all that wind to the grid.

And that points to ABB (NYSE: ABB).

Based in Switzerland, the company has long been a leader in electric transformers, vital components in efficient transmission systems. These days they're essential in connecting renewable energy to the grid and to create a smart grid. 

And the same power conversion and interconnection hardware is necessary to hook offshore wind farms to the grid. Last year, ABB won a $1 billion dollar order to connect an offshore wind plant to the grid.

Among its cleantech aquisitions is Baldor, a long time favorite in our Green Portfolio for Progressive Investor. The company, known for its efficient motors, has always been one of the most socially responsible employers out there.

In the past year or so, ABB's acquired several smart grid software companies including Ventryx, Trilliant and Obvient Strategies, and entered electric vehicle charging by buying  Epyon B.V. and taking a stake in ECOtality.

ABB is revving up an electric car charging network, saying it could be a $1 billion business by 2017.

The company also has a 35% stake in concentrating solar power company Novatec Solar.

Thanks to its low debt, ABB is likely to remain profitable through
the ups and downs in the economy, and it pays a 3.4% dividend.