Solar ETFs: Time to Shine | ETF Trends

Solar exchange traded funds (ETFs) have been whacked in the last year – both Market Vectors Solar Energy (NYSEArca: KWT) and Guggenheim Global Solar Index (NYSEArca: TAN) have lost more than 30% in that time.

Some say the solar energy industry will have a chance to come into its own this year:

  • A Republican-controlled Congress could ordinarily have the potential to cause pain for the industry, but existing subsidies are already “baked in,” says Jesse Emspak for The International Business Times. [Solar ETFs May Shine As Laws Fail to Pass.]
  • Further, installations of solar panels are where the money and growth will be at, rather than direct subsidies.
  • In a recent  First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) earnings forecast, the company said it expects 2011 sales ranging from $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion and earnings of $8.75 to $9.50 a share. [Solar ETFs Lag As The U.S. Becomes Net Exporter.]
  • There’s room for a boom. Renewable energy accounts for 4.2% of generation capacity, and solar accounts for less than that.

Anne Fischer for Solar Novus Today reports that the growth in the solar industry was a good thing that came at a bad time. Solar start-ups launched at a rate reminiscent of the boom in the computer industry starting in the 1980s.

Obviously, this is a relatively young sector that’s still working out the kinks, but interest from homeowners and businesses, subsidies and rising oil prices could well converge to make 2011 the year of the solar ETF.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

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.