By: Ron Pernick
Quarterly overview of stock index performance and the top trends impacting the state of clean tech.
As COVID-19 continued to have a major impact on the global economy, dramatically lower renewable energy prices, oil industry headwinds, and a focus on green stimulus/rebuilding efforts all served to lift thematic indexes tracking the clean-tech sectors. During Q3, Nasdaq-Clean Edge indexes, on a total return basis, were all up, with CELS (U.S. clean energy) increasing 49.59%, GWE (global wind) increasing 22.69%, QGRD (global smart grid & grid infrastructure) up 15.54%, and HHO (U.S. water) up 8.78%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 index increased 8.93% and the IXE (Energy Select) was down 19.58%.
Q3 2020 Performance
As of September 30, 2020
(U.S. Clean Energy)
GWE (Global Wind)
QGRD (Global Grid)
Q3 (Total Return)
YTD (Total Return)
12-Month (Total Return)
Year to date (YTD), on a total return basis, Nasdaq-Clean Edge indexes focused on clean energy and the grid all outperformed the S&P 500 (up 5.57% YTD). CELS was up 79.19%, GWE increased 21.59%, and QGRD was up 16.31%. During the same time period HHO increased 1.97%. IXE declined 47.66% YTD.
YTD Performance (through September 30, 2020)
Over the past 12 months (total return basis through the end of September), all of our Nasdaq-Clean Edge indexes outperformed the IXE., and three of them beat the S&P 500. CELS was the top Nasdaq-Clean Edge index performer during the 12-month period, rising 108.96%, followed by GWE up 36.58%, QGRD up 29.35%, and HHO up 9.12%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 increased 15.15% and IXE was down 44.70%.
12-Month Performance (through September 30, 2020)
A number of factors and trends continued to impact the growth of clean energy, including the significant headwinds for the fossil fuel industry (oil companies in particular); corporate and residential procurement of solar power (with record breaking years for both on tap for 2020 in the U.S), and growing stimulus efforts (as mentioned earlier), particularly in Europe.
First Trust ETFs tracking Nasdaq Clean Edge indexes equaled more than $1.5 billion in assets under management as of October 9, 2020.
Winners and Losers (Index Constituents Ranked by Price Return)
Below is a list of the top 10 best and worst constituent performers across all Clean Edge Nasdaq indexes (CELS, QGRD, HHO, and GWE). Top performers were dominated by constituents from high-performing sectors such as solar, wind, and EVs, whereas the worst performers were concentrated in the water and industrial sectors.
Best and Worst Constituents (Q3 2020)
Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo-SABESP (ADR)
UNISON Co., Ltd.
AGL Energy Ltd.
CS Wind Corporation
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Lithium Americas Corporation
Landis+Gyr Group AG
JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. ADR
Veeco Instruments, Inc.
Orion Energy Systems, Inc.
York Water Company
Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
BYD Co. Ltd.
California Water Service Group
General Electric Company
Q3 TOP 15 STORIES: TESLA MARKET CAP EXCEEDS THAT OF EXXON; EUROPE’S BIG OIL COMPANIES PIVOT TO ELECTRICITY; CALIFORNIA PLANS PHASE OUT OF GAS-POWERED CARS; & MORE
Below are the top tweets (and links to source material) from Clean Edge during Q3 2020 based on overall engagement.
- Breaking Nikola @nikolamotor News: $NKLA founder Trevor Milton @nikolatrevor is out of the company after deception exposed according to Electrek. Note: company had ZERO #ElectricVehicle or #FuelCell Vehicle related revenue in their latest financials. https://t.co/KTM6nm0Py8
- #Software & #renewableenergy: Here are five startups that have raised more than $50 million collectively in recent funding – with an emphasis on solving renewable energy problems with software. @SenseHawk #TerabaseEnergy #Mystai @ubicquia @overstoryai https://t.co/EH0BCqSrlk
- Great analysis, as always, from the folks at @RockyMtnInst. They discuss a range of factors (including #naturalgas power plants that were tripped offline) behind the recent #blackouts in #california and what it all means for the #cleanenergy transition. https://t.co/TjCTN6HiNC
- Europe's Big #Oil Companies Are Turning #Electric @Total @Shell @bp_plc https://t.co/k14C7HuCUY
- Oslo-based energy engineering & service firm Aker Solutions @akersolutions announces new CEO, merger, and spin-off of #offshorewind & #carboncapture businesses in bid to seize #renewableenergy opportunities. https://t.co/SwWLYTrw0V and https://t.co/6nbRBZM85x
- In case you missed it – last week the market cap of #cleanenergy leader @Tesla (TSLA) rose above that of #FossilFuel giant @exxonmobil (XOM). Right now $TSLA market cap stands at $258 Billion, compared to $XOM at $182 Billion. Talk about an #EnergyTransition.
- #Oil nosedives while #renewables rise. “Net-zero is not just a plan for our environment. It is a plan for our economic competitiveness.” https://t.co/4DzdBC7qF2
- Now This from the @WSJ: Why #Investors Have Learned to Love #windpower and #Solar "Renewable energy has become cheap and now offers investors utility-like returns." https://t.co/5mThnlWjgZ
- Bad day for #naturalgas and #CrudeOil #pipelines in the US. @DukeEnergy and @DominionEnergy cancel #AtlanticCoastPipeline (https://t.co/7GLhmE9bi4) and federal court orders #Dakota crude #pipeline shut down for environmental review. https://t.co/nzfUdML7Dq
- BP Reports a Huge Loss and Vows to Significantly Increase #Renewable Investment. Will @bp_plc Finally Live Up to its Premature (and then Abandoned slogan): "Beyond Petroleum" ??? https://t.co/cjQTZn5OQs
- More #green #hydrogen News: NextEra Energy @nexteraenergy to Build Its First Green Hydrogen Plant in Florida | Greentech Media https://t.co/ythxAAXekm
- #BreakingNews: #CLEANENERGY #STIMULUS -- @JoeBiden to set Ambitious #Climate Goals. Unveils Plan to reach 100% Clean Electricity by 2035, Direct Trillions into #WindPower, #SolarPower, #Grid, #EVs and more. https://t.co/9JqoAveYv1
- Read this Now: Big Oil Goes Looking for a Career Change - the supermajor business model that owned a century comes undone! @bp_plc @Shell @eni @Total @exxonmobil #EnergyTransition https://t.co/D8wzE58mZu
- #Japan has Plenty of Reasons to Clean Up Its Power Sector and End its Reliance on #Coal. 1 reason: corporates like @Google, @Microsoft, and @Apple are looking to locate in countries with high #renewables penetration to meet their #decarboniation goals. https://t.co/RqVpQ1hKpY
- This! Is! Big! California to stop sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035 #EnergyTransition #ElectricVehicles @GavinNewsom https://t.co/GVOET2KjMi
The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular financial product or an overall investment strategy. Clean Edge, Inc., does not make any recommendation to buy or sell any financial product or any representation about the financial condition of any company or fund.