While many are working to make the switch to alternative energy that could boost exchange traded funds (ETFs), some wonder if the cost of doing so will pay off down the line.

For example, one man in San Francisco installed 2 300 pound wind turbines at a cost of $5,000 each. They will soon be hooked up to the power grid, and even though electricity savings may not exceed cost, it doesn’t matter.

In fact, the fascination with these small turbines is so popular that they are cropping up in places such as Brooklyn Naval Yard, atop an office in Boston, and on a utility pole in New Hampshire, reports Kate Galbraith for The New York Times.

Energy experts feel that the energy generated from these turbines is so little that the economics of the deal will not make sense. For example, how long will it take for the cost savings to make the $5,000 turbines worth it? Perhaps as the technology improves, prices will come down.

But the general idea and popularity are really what matter, because this symbolizes a consciousness, and a movement that will one day materialize into the real deal. Of course, we also have to deal with the matter of our aging power grid.

ETFs that might enjoy the breeze:

  • First Trust Global Wind Energy (FAN), down 17.2% since June 27 inception
  • PowerShares Global Wind Energy (PWND), down 15.8% since July 8 inception

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. 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.