Oil exchange traded funds (ETFs) weren’t the only winners today – record prices sent investors once again scurrying for alternative energy sources.
Gas prices also continued moving up, now at a record $4.08 a gallon national average.
At prices like these, it’s no wonder people are looking for other ways to access energy. Alternative energy ETFs are being rolled out more and more frequently. Some of the most recent launches include:
- PowerShares Wilderhill Clean Energy Portfolio Fund (PBW)
- Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy (TAN)
- Van Eck Global Alternative Energy (GEX)
- Market Vectors Global Nuclear Energy (NLR)
The newest member of the alt-energy family is expected this week, this time harnessing the power of wind: First Trust says it will launch the First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund (FAN) on Wednesday. Its underlying index is made up of companies around the world that are active in the wind energy industry. The minimum market cap for a company in the index is $100 million.
Wind energy is currently supplying enough electricity annually in the United States to power more than 4.5 million homes. While that sounds like a lot, less than 1% of the nation’s electricity is currently supplied by wind power, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In Europe, Denmark gets more than 20% of its power from wind. In 2007, Germany received about 7% of its power from wind.
In the United States, the winds in North Dakota alone could supply about one-third of the nation’s electricity, but there are adequate winds for commercial power production at various sites in 46 states.
The other wind energy fund expected sometime soon is the PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio.
Seems like wind power has lots of potential for growth in this country.