The Case for Solar ETFs

That company and its shares have recently come under fire because Hanergy Thin Film Power Group mainly supplies solar panel equipment to its private parent company Hanergy Group, and some have questioned the accounting practices, which have fueled the short bets. [Hanergy: A Drag on Solar ETFs]

TAN allocates almost 11.6% to Hanergy Thin Film, but the ETF’s performance since May 7 shows it is weathering the Hanergy controversy. Plus, there are other encouraging fundamentals, including institutional investors increasingly embracing solar assets.

“Google announced a $300 million investment in a $750 million SolarCity (SCTY) fund that will finance roof-top solar projects. Google expects to earn a return as high as 8% on its investment. SolarCity is currently the only sponsor for solar asset-backed securities (ABS) based on roof-top solar, but Moody’s in January released a report saying that “Solar ABS” is emerging as a distinct asset class. Meanwhile, some institutional investors are investing in solar by owning the actual solar farms. For example, two Canadian pension funds, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, are teaming up with Santander in a joint venture to own $2 billion worth of solar, wind and water infrastructure assets. The renewable infrastructure assets are attractive to institutional investors due to low risk, attractive long-term cash flows, and portfolio diversification,” according to MAC Solar Index.

Guggenheim Solar ETF