ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The photovoltaic panel industry is rapidly expanding as the government and consumers become more environmentally conscious. However, you wouldn’t think it as solar exchange traded funds are being pummeled, along with the energy sector, trading in a bear market.

Since the March 6 high, the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN) has declined 36.1% and Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEArca: KWT) has decreased 32.8%.

The U.S. solar industry, though, is in the midst of a growth spurt with 174,000 employed in the industry, up 22% in a year, and accounted for one in every 78 new jobs over 2014, reports Jane Wells for CNBC.

“Solar employment grew nearly 20 times faster than the national average employment growth rate,” the Solar Foundation said in the CNBC article.

The Solar Foundation does not expect the industry to slow anytime soon and projects another 20% job growth this year, with most job opportunities in solar panel installations.

“The solar installation sector is already larger than well-established sectors of fossil fuel generation, such as coal mining,” which employs 93,000 Americans, according to the Solar Foundation.

More homes and commercial properties are adding solar electricity as a 30% federal tax credit continues to make solar more affordable. The foundation also believes that “states like Indiana, Virginia and Tennessee will install more solar capacity this year than in all previous years combined.”

Nevertheless, the solar stocks have not escape a psychological correlation to oil as many believe lower oil prices would make alternative energy less cost effective. For instance, Elon Musk’s SolarCity Corp (NasdaqGS: SCTY) fell 21.1% over the past year while First Solar (NasdaqGS: FSLR) dipped 17.2%. TAN includes a 7.4% position in FSLR and 6.8% in SCTY. KWT holds SCTY 7.2% and FSLR 6.5%. [Alternative Energy ETFs Endure Oil, Tesla Woes]

Guggenheim Solar ETF

For more information on the photovoltaic panel industry, visit our solar category.

Max Chen 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.