What Does Alternative Energy ETF Need for Success? | ETF Trends

Our leaders are spouting the slogan “alternative energy is the future,” but what’s it going to take for alternative energy exchange traded funds (ETFs) to really power up (cleanly, that is)?

A top priority for President Barack Obama is the reduction of dependence on foreign oil and the revival in renewable power sources that will ensure “another American century,” reports David Biello for Scientific America. Obama has recently signed off the stimulus package that included $15 billion to a credit-starved alternative energy industry.

The money would be put into projects such as new transmission lines to carry wind energy from the Great Plains. The government may also create a cap-and-trade program that would limit pollution and power plants would be able to sell/buy the right to emit a level of greenhouse gases so as to make alternative energy more profitable.

Green energy advocates think the $15 billion provided in Obama’s plan is a poultry amount and critics say the jobs provided would be of no help to unemployed machinists in the Rust Belt, writes Aaron Task for Yahoo! Finance.

There is no defined alternative energy platform so no one knows how much is really needed to invest in clean technologies. Some consider clean tech a “giant capital pit” and it is noted that investors should focus on technologies that play on existing industries, like hybrid car batteries.

Among the many choices available for investors today include:

  • Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index ETF (TAN): down 28.3% in the last month; down 28% in the last three months
  • Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT): down 26.8% in the last month; down 24.1% in the last three months
  • PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (PZD): down 14.4% in the last month; down 5% in the last  three months
  • First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy (FAN): down 16.4% in the last month; down 11.4% in the last  three months
  • PowerShares Global Wind Energy (PWND): down 13.8% in the last month; down 6.7% in the last  three months

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.