Market Vectors Launches Solar Energy ETF

Asset manager Van Eck Global today launched an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in hopes of profiting from the growth of solar power.

The company says the fund, Market Vectors – Solar Energy ETF (KWT), listed on the American Stock Exchange, is among the first solar ETFs listed in the U.S.

KWT seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Ardour Solar Energy Index (SOLRX).

SOLRX includes only those companies that generate at least 66% of their revenues from solar energy. On an index-weighted basis, the companies in SOLRX derive well over 90% of their revenues from solar energy. Currently, the four top holdings are First Solar, Q-Cells, Renewable Energy and Solarworld, with weightings of 10% each.

Worldwide, the solar industry’s revenues are expected to grow 30% to 35% annually over the next three years, and its earnings are projected to hit $5.6 billion in 2010, versus an estimated $3.3 billion in 2008, according to Ardour Capital Investments.

“Solar power has become an increasingly popular source of energy around the world, with demand exploding against a backdrop of steadily declining costs and prices that reflect economies of scale and technological and manufacturing advancements,’ said Jan van Eck, principal at Van Eck Global, which manages more than $10.8 billion in assets. “With more countries seeking to mitigate rising energy prices and the threat of global warming by implementing solar-friendly policies, the global solar industry appears poised to enter a period of remarkable growth.’