That growth could be spurred on by efforts some big-box retailers are making to take advantage of their gargantuan size. Many of the nation’s biggest retailers – think Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Safeway – have installed solar panels on their roofs to generate electricity, reports Stephanie Rosenbloom for the New York Times. It’s not a 100% altruistic move, though: they’re racing to beat a Dec. 31 deadline for tax advantages these products bring.

Depending on the location and weather, solar panels can generate 10%-40% of the power a store needs.

Still, whatever the reason, these moves could not only give the environment an assist, but it could benefit the solar industry, as well.

ETFs holding these solar companies:

  • Claymore/Mac Global Solar Energy (TAN): down 11.3% since April 15 inception; CSIQ is 3.1%; LDK is 5.1%
  • Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT): down 14.6% since April 23 inception; LDK is 4%

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