Something interesting is happening in technology. “ESG” stocks like solar energy are breaking out as megacaps like Apple and Alphabet drift.
The Invesco Solar Energy ETF (TAN) shot 3 percent above its previous 52-week high yesterday. Of the 40+ thematic funds tracked by Market Insights, TAN is the only one above its early-September high. It’s also the top performer in 2020 with a gain of more than 100 percent.
A combination of surging investor interest and technological breakthroughs seem to be driving the trend. The investor demand results from concerns about Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues. Silicon Valley and large institutions are also following the movement. One estimate by DWS Group earlier this month said inflows to ESG portfolios have more than doubled from this time last year.
But there has also been real results and performance. Tesla (TSLA) helped launch the rally last year by proving it could make electric cars profitably. Chinese rival Nio (NIO) has also taken off, along with hydrogen disruptor Plug Power (PLUG).
Still, TAN’s solar stocks remain the broadest ESG group. Market Insights covered the major earnings beats by SolarEdge Technologies (SEDG) and Enphase Energy (ENPH) earlier in the year. The biggest mover lately has been JinkoSolar (JKS). The Chinese company has almost doubled in three weeks after crushing earnings estimates and successfully ramping its photovoltaic production.
You may not know many solar stocks because most are relatively small (under $10 billion market cap) and several only trade in Asia. But if you want to start learning, here are TAN’s 10 biggest member stocks listed in the U.S.
|Symbol||Name||Business||Mkt Cap||YTD %|
|ENPH||Enphase Energy||Control Systems||$10bln||+209%|
|FSLR||First Solar||PV Modules||$7bln||+18%|
|CSIQ||Canadian Solar||PV Modules||$2bln||+54%|
|DQ||Daqo New Energy||Polysilicon||$1.8bln||+155%|
|HASI||Hannon Armstrong||Project Financing||$3bln||+30%|