Goldman Sachs analysts have named a number of global energy stocks they say are taking "center stage" as Europe pledges to reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas. In a research note published last week, the bank said it was optimistic on green energy players, with the EU likely to favor renewables as it looks to reduce imports of gas from Russia following the country's invasion of Ukraine. "Policy tailwinds, improving industry fundamentals, combined with investor positioning … give the team increased reasons to be optimistic on the outlook for the Green Energy Majors," the analysts stated on Mar. 8. Goldman said these firms were set to "return to center stage," and that its European utilities team had reassessed the sector "in light of recent geopolitical developments." The analysts, led by Alberto Gandolfi, see "ongoing tailwinds" for companies including Madrid-headquartered EDPR and German firm RWE , which is set to invest billions of dollars into renewables such as wind, solar and hydrogen this decade. In a separate note, Goldman said the two companies are its favorite renewables names given the EU's long-term energy plans. "The development of wind/solar has been central to the EU's climate goals for the past twenty years, while a goal of improving security of supply should make renewables even more central to energy policy," the analysts wrote, adding that renewables firms are "well-placed in all scenarios." RWE is also of note due to Germany's "ambitious" 2030 climate goals and an estimated 350 billion euros ($386 billion) of investment, the analysts said. "For RWE in particular … most of this potential upside is not included in consensus and not priced in," they wrote. Reducing Russian dependence This week, the European Union pledged to cut its dependence on Russian energy by two-thirds within a year — in 2021 the EU imported around 45% of its gas from the country, according to the International Energy Agency . The bloc plans to reduce its dependence by importing oil and gas from elsewhere, improving energy efficiency and upping renewable hydrogen production. Goldman's analysts also highlighted tailwinds for "integrated Green Energy Majors," including Italian firm Enel , Scottish energy producer SSE and Spanish electricity company Iberdrola , which is developing a $2.6 billion green hydrogen facility with Swedish company Green Steel. It also picked French firm Engie as a clean power generator. — CNBC's Silvia Amaro and Anmar Frangoul contributed to this report.
Oil storage tanks stand at the RN-Tuapsinsky refinery, operated by Rosneft Oil Co., in Tuapse, Russia, on Monday, March 23, 2020.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Goldman Sachs analysts have named a number of global energy stocks they say are taking "center stage" as Europe pledges to reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas.