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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.


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by Ron Pernick

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

Covid-19 and the resulting pandemic brought the stock market – and the entire global economy – to its knees during Q1. With hundreds of millions of people on lockdown/stay-at-home orders worldwide, global supply chains frayed and massively disrupted, and companies and countries adjusting growth projections downward, the markets, not surprisingly, declined significantly during the first three months of 2020. 

On a total return basis for Q1 2020, GWE (global wind) decreased 16.14%, CELS (U.S. clean energy) was down 19%, HHO (U.S. water) declined 19.80%, and QGRD (global smart grid & grid infrastructure) was down 21.32%. 

Stock Indexes

Nasdaq-Clean Edge stock indexes cover U.S. and global clean energy, water, and grid infrastructure markets. As of April 7, 2020, First Trust ETFs tracking the indexes equaled more than $700 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 

Q1 2020 Index Performance

Clean Edge Stock Indexes