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Clean Edge, Inc., founded in 2000, serves clients working to transition to a low-carbon, clean-energy economy. The firm is a stock indexing pioneer (with stock indexes tracking clean energy, transportation, water, the grid, and the broader energy transition). It also co-produces the annual gridCONNEXT conference (convening stakeholders building a modern 21st century grid). Founder Ron Pernick, who literally wrote the book on clean-tech business & innovation (co-author, The Clean Tech Revolution, HarperCollins, 2007), works on additional select projects to forward large-scale clean-tech adoption.


Ron Pernick's picture


by Ron Pernick

Quarterly overview of stock index performance and the top trends impacting the state of clean tech.

2019 was a strong year for Nasdaq-Clean Edge stock indexes, with all four indexes out-performing their benchmarks. On a total return basis for 2019, QGRD (global smart grid & grid infrastructure) was up 43.90%, CELS (U.S. clean energy) increased 42.67%, HHO (U.S. water) was up 37.93%, and GWE (global wind) increased 31.90%, all beating out the S&P 500’s 31.49% increase and IXE’s (energy select sector index) 12.09% increase during the same period.

During Q4 2019 (on a total return basis), CELS was the top Nasdaq-Clean Edge index performer, rising 16.61%, followed by GWE up 12.33%...

Stock Indexes

Nasdaq-Clean Edge stock indexes cover U.S. and global clean energy, water, and grid infrastructure markets. At the end of December 2019, First Trust ETFs tracking the indexes equaled more than $800 million in AUM.

  • CELS: U.S. clean energy 
  • GWE: Global wind  
  • HHO: U.S. potable water and wastewater 
  • QGRD: Global smart grid and grid infrastructure 

2019 Index Performance

Clean Edge Stock Indexes