Clean Energy Stocks Fall

Clean energy stocks were unable to escape the uncertainty that has characterized global financial markets in the first three months of 2008 and the performance of the Wilder Hill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX) illustrated the volatility of the sector, according to New Energy Finance. In the first quarter, the NEX fell by 17.9% to 373.72. By contrast, NASDAQ was down by 14.1% and the S&P500 was 9.9% lower.

The solar sector was hardest hit by the drop off as it saw valuations fall by 31.6% as investors reacted to the soaring valuations solar shares saw in 2007. Yingli Green Energy, the Chinese vertically integrated photovoltaic product maker, was the sector’s biggest casualty, down 55.8% despite increasing profits by 80%. No solar stocks gained ground in the quarter.

The five worst performers in the NEX were U.S.-listed and seven of the ten companies listed on the index that saw their shares rise came from outside the U.S. with Japanese companies looking like the safest bet during the quarter.

New Energy Finance says that the fundamental drivers for investment in clean energy remain strong, with governments needing to spend much more to meet their own ambitious targets on renewable energy, biofuels, energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

More information on the performance of clean energy stocks in the first quarter of 2008 is available from New Energy Finance.

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