The top performing exchange traded funds (ETFs) over the six months that are trading for less than $15 a share (as of this writing) are focused on clean energy. Interest in clean energy has seen something of a resurgence this year.

First Trust Global Wind Energy (NYSE: PBW) are all up more than 40 percent in the past six months and trading near their 52-week highs.

Some other top performing ETFs under $15 of note include Global X China Industrials ETF (NYSE: PSP).

First Trust Global Wind Energy

Shares (units) opened Monday at about $10.65, about 15 cents shy of the 52-week high reached on Friday. This this is the only real wind ETF, and it has considerable international exposure. Also note that, this summer, the United States regained the lead in annual wind power capacity from China.

The nondiversified fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield of the ISE Global Wind Energy Index. It is a benchmark for investors interested in tracking public companies throughout the world that are active in the wind energy industry.

The share price is more than 43 percent higher than six months ago, as well as up more than 52 percent since the beginning of the year. Over the past six months, the ETF has outperformed not only the S&P 500, but also iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index and PowerShares Global Clean Energy.

See also: Buying Energy ETFs On Pullback

iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index

After opening Monday at $10.38, shares crept upward in early trading toward the 52-week high of $10.58 from last Friday. This ETF is more than five years old and has considerable exposure to Japan and China, as well as a focus on biofuels, ethanol and geothermal energy, solar and wind energy.

The investment seeks to track the investment results of the S&P Global Clean Energy Index, which is designed to track the performance of about 30 of the most liquid and tradable securities of global companies involved in clean energy related businesses. Top holdings in the ETF include First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR).

The share price is about 43 percent higher than at the beginning of the year, including a more than 12 percent rise in the past month. Over the past six months, the ETF has outperformed PowerShares Global Clean Energy, as well as the Nasdaq.

PowerShares Global Clean Energy

This ETF started the week at $11.67 per share, or about 11 cents shy of Friday's multiyear high. With its focus on companies engaged in greener and renewable sources of energy and on technologies that facilitate cleaner energy, at least one analyst sees this one rallying in the fourth quarter despite the gains so far this year.

The investment seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield of the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index. Top holdings include Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA), Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ: VECO) and Cree (NASDAQ: CREE).

The share price is 45 percent higher year to date, including up more than 10 percent in the past month. Over the past six months, this stock has outperformed PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (NYSE: PZD) and the broader markets.

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy

This ETF hit a new multiyear high of $6.57 in early Monday trading. Shares have not traded in that neighborhood in more than two years. Exposure to Chinese solar companies has given this clean energy ETF a boost.

The underlying index, the WilderHill Clean Energy Index, is comprised of the stocks that Wilder Hill believes will substantially benefit from a societal transition toward the use of cleaner energy and conservation. Top holdings include Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE).

The share price is up more than 53 percent from six months ago, including more than 12 percent in the past month. The stock has outperformed the other ETFs featured here, as well as the broader markets, over the past six months.

See also: Seven ETFs On A Roll

At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The ABCs of Bond ETF Distributions

    How do bond exchange traded fund (ETF) distributions work? It’s a question I get a lot. First, let’s explain what we mean by distributions.
  2. Investing Basics

    Top Tips for Diversifying with Exotic Currencies

    Is there an opportunity in exotic currencies right now, or are you safer sticking to the major ones?
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 3 Biggest Mutual Fund Companies in the US

    Compare and contrast the rise of America's big three institutional asset managers: BlackRock Funds, The Vanguard Group and State Street Global Advisors.
  4. Professionals

    5 Top-Rated Funds for Your Retirement Portfolio

    Mutual funds are a good choice for emotional investors. Here are five popular funds to consider.
  5. Stock Analysis

    The 6 Biggest Russian Energy Companies

    Learn about the top energy companies in Russia, a country that holds some of the largest reserves of oil, natural gas and coal in the world.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 4 Best Buy-and-Hold ETFs

    Explore detailed analyses of the top buy-and-hold exchange traded funds, and learn about their characteristics, statistics and suitability.
  7. Chart Advisor

    Bumpy Roads Ahead In Transportation

    Investors are keeping an eye on the transportation industry. We'll take a look at the trend direction and how to trade it.
  8. Investing

    How ETFs May Save You Thousands

    Being vigilant about the amount you pay and what you get for is important, but adding ETFs into the investment mix fits well with a value-seeking nature.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Fixed Income ETFs in the Mining Sector

    Learn about the top three metals and mining exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and explore analyses of their characteristics and how investors can benefit from these ETFs.
  10. Chart Advisor

    Agriculture Commodities Are In The Bear's Sights

    Agriculture stocks have experienced strong moves higher over recent weeks, but chart patterns on sugar, corn and wheat are suggesting the moves could be short lived.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in IPOs?

    Mutual funds can invest in initial public offerings (IPOS). However, most mutual funds have bylaws that prevent them from ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does index trading increase market vulnerability?

    The rise of index trading may increase the overall vulnerability of the stock market due to increased correlations between ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is there a situation in which wash trading is legal?

    Wash trading, the intentional practice of manipulating a stock's activity level to deceive other investors, is not a legal ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are there leveraged ETFs that follow the retail sector?

    There are many exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track the retail sector or elements of the retail sector, and some of those ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!