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Top 10 Alternative Energy ETFs

Stocks in this article: PBW PUW PBD TAN KWT GEX ICLN

ICLN (iShares S&P Global Clean Energy ETF) tracks the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. The fund was launched in June 2008. The expense ratio is .48%. AUM exceeds $71M and average daily trading volume is 28K shares. As of June 2011 the annual dividend is $.22 making the yield 1.33% with a YTD return of 3.09%.

Data as of 2011-06-03

ICLN Top Ten Holdings

  1. China Longyuan Power Group Corp Ltd. (CLPXF):  5.59%
  2. Verbund AG (VER):  5.35%
  3. Iberdrola Energias Renovables SA (IBR):  5.34%
  4. SunPower Corporation (SPWRA):  5.34%
  5. National Electricity Company of Chile, Inc. ADR (EOC):  5.28%
  6. Enel Green Power S.P.A. (EGPW):  5.16%
  7. Energy Company of Minas Gerais ADR (CIG):             4.99%
  8. Energy Company of Parana ADR (ELP):  4.82%
  9. Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica, S.A. (GAM):  4.71%
  10. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR):  4.58%


FAN (First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy ETF) follows the ISE Global Wind Energy Index which consists of companies exclusively involved in the wind energy business account for a 66% index weight. The fund was launched in June 2008. The expense ratio is .60%. AUM equals $53M with average daily trading volume of 73K shares. As of June 2011 the annual dividend is $.18 making the yield roughly 1.74% and YTD return of 3.61%.

Data as of June 2011

FAN Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR):  8.35%
  2. Iberdrola Energias Renovables SA (IBR): 8.33%
  3. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS): 7.23%
  4. Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica, S.A. (GAM): 6.52%
  5. REpower Systems AG (RPW):  6.22%
  6. China Longyuan Power Group Corp Ltd. (CLPXF):  5.54%
  7. China WindPower Group Ltd. (CWPWF): 3.91%
  8. Infigen Energy (IFGNF.PK):  3.56%
  9. Nordex AG (NDX1): 3.43%
  10. Hansen Transmissions International NV (HSN): 3.20%


PWND (PowerShares Global Wind Energy ETF) follows the NASDAQ OMX Clean Edge Global Wind Energy Index which is a lot of words to say "wind ETF". The fund was launched July 2008. The expense ratio is .75%. AUM is just shy of $24M which is usually the threshold for reasonable coverage. Average daily trading volume is just under 15K shares. As of June 2011 the annual dividend was $.07 making the yield .69% and YTD return was 1.02%.

Data as of 2011-06-03

PWND Top Ten Holdings

  1. Enel Green Power S.P.A. (EGPW):  10.91%
  2. China Longyuan Power Group Corp Ltd. (CLPXF): 10.40%
  3. Iberdrola Energias Renovables SA (IBR):  10.00%
  4. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS):  9.60%
  5. EDF Energies Nouvelles (EEN):  4.85%
  6. Innergex Renewable Energy, Inc. (INE):  4.82%
  7. REpower Systems AG (RPW): 4.65%
  8. EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR):  4.40%
  9. Nordex AG (NDX1):  3.80%
  10. Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica, S.A. (GAM):  3.73%


NLR (Market Vectors Uranium + Nuclear Energy ETF) follows the DAXglobal Nuclear Energy Index. The fund was launched August 2007. The expense ratio is .57%. AUM are now $242M and average daily trading volume at 112K shares. As of June 2011 the annual dividend is $1.06 making the yield 4.87% which is the highest in the space. YTD return was -13.81% which of course is occasioned by Japan's Fukushima plant disaster. Investors should remember while new nuclear plants will be difficult to permit ongoing servicing and construction of new plants will continue.

Data as of June 2011

NLR Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (CEG):  10.81%
  2. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (7011):  10.44%
  3. Electricité de France (EDF):  9.14%
  4. Exelon Corporation (EXC):  9.10%
  5. Cameco Corp (CCJ):  7.33%
  6. Areva (CEI):  4.86%
  7. JGC Corp. (1963):  4.45%
  8. USEC Inc. (USU):  4.18%
  9. Uranium Participation Corporation (URPTF):  4.16%
  10. Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN):  3.90%


Energy overall remains a primary focus for investors and alternative energy sources are also much in demand. While their success seems a necessity for society the problem is solutions and implementation is far in the future. This has made short to intermediate positive returns elusive as clearly investors have done better with more traditional carbon based choices. Someday there could be a breakthrough that would stimulate more investment but for now, it's a waiting game. 

For further information about portfolio structures using this or other ETFs see .

You may address any feedback to:   


(Source for holding data is from ETF Database and from various sponsors.)


This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.

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