The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Top Performing Clean Energy Funds in 2010

When Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released their clean energy league tables for 2010, the top of the list was my favorite exchange traded fund (ETF), the Powershares Cleantech Portfolio ETF (AMEX: PZD), with an annual return of 7.6%. Second place was the Winslow Green Growth (WGGFX) mutual fund (7.4% return), which is one of what I consider to be the three best clean energy mutual funds.

But the one I consider to be the best, the Gabelli SRI Green Fund (SRIGX) was nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that it returned 12.1% in 2010. The third is the New Alternatives Fund (NALFX). (There's more about why I like these clean energy funds here.)

The discrepancy arises because BNEF and I track different lists (my clean enenrgy mutual fund list is here, and the ETF list is here.) My lists include only US-traded funds, while BNEF's is global. BNEF also restricts their list to funds that are at least 50% exposed to clean energy. According to a conversation I recently had with John Segrich, SRIGX's manager, he had mostly moved out of renewable energy companies last year because he was bearish on the sector. This turned out to be a wise move, since most clean energy companies had large losses in 2010, with the Wilderhill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX) falling by 14.6% in 2010.

Although still invested in clean energy, Segrich has been holding more resource plays, such as recycling companies, like Horsehead Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:ZINC) and Globe Specialty Metals (GSM), which provides silicon metal to the Photovoltaic and Aluminum industries.

Defining clean energy companies can be tricky, and most industry observers such as BNEF use lists of technologies. I prefer to focus on companies that stand to benefit from increasing resource scarcity and potential, while reducing both global warming and other forms of environmental degradation.

The lack of focus on pure clean energy helped both SRIGX and PZD in 2008. Rafeal Coven, the adviser to the underlying index for PZD, noted that the poor performance of most renewable energy stocks in 2010 was a major reason why Cleantech Index-based funds (such as PZD) significantly outperformed their peers.

Will that trend repeat in 2011? Time will tell, but it pays to understand that the differences between clean energy sectors are often greater than their similarities. In 2010, often overlooked energy efficiency stocks returned 19%, outshining solar stocks (-25%) and blowing away wind stocks (-37%.)

When choosing the best clean energy mutual funds and ETFs, I've long used a a large exposure to energy efficiency as one of the most important criteria. When doing a home energy upgrade, the rule is to “Eat your Energy Efficiency vegetables before indulging in a solar power dessert.” The same rule applies when building a clean energy portfolio.

This article was first published on Tom Konrad's Green Stocks blog at Forbes.com. It was republished with permission from altenergystocks.com.

DISCLOSURE: No positions.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Hybrid solar minigrid to power Tanzanian island village

Tildy Bayar

A hybrid solar photovoltaic-battery energy storage-diesel minigrid project aims to provide power for around 400 households in the remote island village of Lake Victoria (pictured) in Tanzania. 

World Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy – First Electricity, Then Heating/Cooling, and Finally Transportation

Junko Movellan, Correspondent The exclusive use of energy from renewable resources in at least one sector has now become a feasible goal for 8 countries. Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, discussed this remarkable develop...

Solar power growth impacting UK electricity sector

Diarmaid Williams

Q2 of 2015 saw a large increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV in the UK, with the growth having a significant impact on electricity market prices and other supply factors.

PACE Finance Opening Doors for C&I Solar In California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent With its excellent renewable policy, California leads the nation in solar. Over the years both the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the California Solar Initiative drove utility scale and residential solar deployment. But w...
Tom Konrad is a private money manager and freelance writer focused on Peak Oil and Climate Change as investment themes. He manages portfolios for individual clients and is Head of Research for the JPS Green Economy Fund (http://jpsgreeneconomyfund...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

GRC Workshop at Indonesian International Geothermal Convention & Ex...

The Geothermal Conceptual Model & Well Targeting The Geothermal Me...

COMPANY BLOGS

Prevailing At A Premium

As efficiency sales professionals, we’re often faced with situatio...

LSX rises with sustainable wine making in Mexico

his custom LSX solar canopy shades the upper deck organic gard...

Do Your Goals Match Your Values?

Before you set goals for your company or your personal work performance ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS