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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Finance and Financial Management for Green Business > Investment and Funding for Green and Sustainable Programs and Business Development

Green ETF Investment Choices

Green funds, alternative energy industry and related investment options to support green and sustainable corporate investment

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Richard Asplund has authored Profiting From Clean Energy: A Complete Guide to Trading Green in Solar, Wind, Ethanol, Fuel Cell, Carbon Credit Industries, and More. as a guide to green investment choices.

Alternative Energy Indexes

The Ardour Global Indexes incorporate many fields that can impact the growth and development of the alternative energy industry. Revolutionary new technologies and evolutionary ways to improve the efficiency and usefulness of new or underutilized resources are both important in the advancement of energy technologies. These developments will impact alternative energy markets on a variety of levels, increasing the need to fully understand a multitude of market issues and fundamental technological drivers. In this way, we can track changes in both components and entire systems—leading toward a much deeper and complete evaluation of the companies involved in the market.

Industry definitions include:

  • Alternative Energy Resources
  • Distributed Generation
  • Environmental Technologies
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Enabling Technologies

Ardour Global Alternative Energy Indexes

Individual Stocks

For the bold (and those with time to do research), individual stocks are an obvious choice, but "investors must go in with the mind-set that they're not going to sell in three months," says Jeff Siegel, managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, an investment advisory service.

A safer way to invest in alternative energy is to spread your bets around with a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that holds dozens of stocks. The sector hosts more than a dozen funds and ETFs, most of which invest in a mixed bag of renewable-energy technologies.

Green and Alternative Energy Mutual Funds

Three of the following four funds charge more than 1.5 percent in annual fees.

New Alternatives Fund

New Alternatives fund, a category veteran that was launched in 1982. Run by father-and-son team Maurice and David Schoenwald, the Melville, N.Y., fund has gained a respectable 8 percent annualized return over the past decade but not without turbulence. New Alternatives soared 34 percent in both 2006 and 2007; so far this year, it's down 16 percent. The $296 million fund, which levies a sales charge, invests beyond renewable energy in recycling, water, and natural foods companies with good social and environmental track records.

Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy

Firsthand Alternative Energy

Calvert Global Alternative Energy

A load fund.

A no-frills route is through ETFs, which mimic indexes and, like stocks, trade on exchanges.

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio

The largest, invests in 54 mostly small up-and-comers, including top holdings FuelCell Energy, First Solar, and Ormat Technologies. Its annual fees are 0.70 percent.

Van Eck Solar Energy and Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy funds

Ticker symbols KWT and TAN -- each invest in about two dozen solar companies. Both funds launched in April and charge 0.65 percent annually.

First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy Index fund

Includes 67 companies and charges 0.60 percent in annual expenses

PowerShares Global Wind Energy ETF

Invests in 32 stocks and charges 0.75 percent.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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