First Solar (NYSE: FSLR) was a top performing stock on initial news of the German government’s decision to shy away from nuclear energy and focus efforts on alternative energy dominated markets. Alternative energy exchange traded funds (ETFs), including solar, could benefit if the country moves to more renewable power.

Germany’s environment Minister Norbert Rottgen announced that the country will close down all nuclear plants as early as 2022, as Japan’s radiation leaks have been a hard lesson. [GT Solar Lifts Clean Energy ETFs.]

“It’s like a domino effect against nuclear,” Wayne Chang, analyst with Brean Murray Carret & Co. commented in a phone interview with MarketWatch. “Without nuclear power, energy needs may be weighted toward alternative energy.” “Another plus for solar companies comes from reduced uncertainty about subsidies in Italy, after recent announcements there removed a cloud over the sector.

First Solar Inc. (NasdaqGS: FSLR) gained 1.9% Tuesday, and MEMC Electronics Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) gained 2.6%, as two of the top performers within the S&P 500 Index.  However, in looking at the logistics of moving to 35% renewable energy by 2020, there will be challenges.  [Solar Earnings Lifts Green Energy ETFs.]

The Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN) was up 5.6% on Tuesday, and holds 14.8% in First Solar. WFR accounts for 4.1%. Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEArca: KWT) was up 5% and invests 9.6% in FSLR. WFR represents 9.6% of this fund.

The stocks and ETFs are trading lower today as reports come out on what obstacles Germany faces in moving away from their nuclear energy.

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.