Rising natural gas prices are pushing electric utilities to coal, boosting the long downtrodden coal sector in the process.

The Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSEArca: KOL) has gained 9.1% over the past three months, trading around $18.9 per share, and is now back above its 200-day moving average, the first time in over a year. [Coal ETF Tests Long-Term Trend; BHP Confident in Coal Business]

Michael Kahn for Barron’s, though, notes that KOL still faces resistances from last year’s high of $20.5.

Moreover, Kahn argues that the coal sector is beginning to look attractive, compared to the solar energy sector, an industry that is arguably the polar opposite of carbon-emitting coal.

Specifically, looking at the ratio of KOL to Guggenheim Solar Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: TAN), the relative strength index, a technical momentum indicator that compares recent gains to recent losses, has been steadily making lower lows over 2013. However, the RSI is starting to turn around and currently hovers around 50 – the indicator ranges from 0 to 100, with lower readings indicating the security is becoming oversold.