5 Clean Energy Funds to Consider

With the passage of the landmark climate bill last summer and the EPA’s proposed emissions standards intended to spur the adoption of electric vehicles, the clean energy transition is now in full swing. While the thesis for investing in the transition is strong over the long term, investors will likely have to weather short-term volatility due to regulations still needing to be finalized, higher interest rates, and the difficulty of picking winners in a competitive environment consisting of startups and giants. Investing in a clean energy fund is one way to hedge one’s bets and reduce volatility while sharing in the promising long-term upside of the energy transition.

When it comes to choosing a fund to provide thematic exposure to clean energy and EVs, investors have an array of choices. A number of funds have launched in the past year or two that reference the energy transition and climate solutions as broad themes. But several more-seasoned ETFs exist that focus more specifically on renewable energy, electric vehicles, and battery technology. Even among these, there is a fair amount of variation in their investment approach.

The five clean energy ETFs discussed below invest in companies producing renewable energy and in “clean tech” companies providing the technology that supports the development of renewable energy, including energy storage and efficiency solutions. Clean energy ETFs differ in a number of important ways. Investors need to consider whether they want mainly U.S. exposure or global exposure, how much small-cap exposure to take on, and concentration risk. Not all devote assets to EVs and related technologies, so I will also take a look at some ETFs that are specifically focused on those areas.

The Largest Clean Energy ETFs

With $4.9 billion in assets, iShares Global Clean Energy ICLN is the largest clean energy ETF. It focuses on companies producing renewable energy or providing the technology for clean energy production and uses. The fund is global in scope, with just under half of its assets in the United States and half outside the U.S. spread among about 100 large- and mid-cap holdings. Its largest position, at …


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