As an exchange traded fund (ETF) investor, do you need a weather man to know which way the wind blows?

PowerShares and First Trust Advisors don’t think so. They have recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for ETFs that will hold shares in companies that provide products and services to the wind energy industry, such as turbine makers and utilities with wind farms, reports Trang Ho for Investor’s Business Daily.

Neither of the filings listed the holdings. The PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio requires a market cap of $200 million, and the First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index Fund will be two-thirds pure plays that provide goods and services only to the wind-energy industry.

Wind power made up almost 30% of all new electricity-generating capacity in 2007. That’s up markedly from less than 1% in 2002. By 2030, it’s predicted that wind energy could supply 20% of the U.S. energy needs.

As the price of oil continues to rise and concern about the environment mounts, these alternative forms of energy could continue to grab investors’ interest. But as a word of caution, this sector can be volatile. While we await the launch of these funds, there are other alternative energy ETFs now available, including:

  • Claymore Global Solar ETF (TAN), up 0.7% since April 15 inception
  • First Trust Nasdaq Clean Edge ETF (QCLN), down 22.6% year-to-date
  • PowerShares Clean Tech Portfolio (PZD), down 1.7% year-to-date

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.