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Tickers in this Article: TAN, KWT, FAN, XOM, CSCO, FSLR
Presidents can be associated with economic booms. Clinton's presidency rode the information superhighway during the tech boom of the 1990s, giving rise to networking giants like Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO). The most recent Bush presidency, which began in 2000, coincided with a run up in real estate values along with record high profits for energy producers like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). If Obama's economic boom lies within a green revolution, investors should consider the following renewable ETF opportunities. (For more on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), don't miss 3 Steps to a Profitable ETF Portfolio.)

Solar Power
Two young solar-focused ETFs are the Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy ETF (NYSE:TAN) and the Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (AMEX:KWT). Launched earlier this year, both funds list First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) and Solarworld (OTC:SRWRF.PK) among their top three holdings. The Claymore Solar ETF is the larger of the two, with $76 million in assets under management.

Wind Power
Launched in June of this year, the First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF (NYSE:FAN) is another young renewable energy fund. FAN has approximately $43 million in AUM and includes amongst its top holdings Vestas Wind ADR (OTC:VWDRY.PK), Hansen Transmissions (OTC:HSNTF.PK) and Gamesa (OTC:GCTAF.PK).

Renewable Energy Proposal
Obama has proposed investing $150 billion into the renewable energy sector over the next 10 years. His proposal also requires that one-tenth of the country's energy be derived from renewable sources. Considering that Americans used renewable energy to meet 7% of energy needs in 2007, according to the Energy Information Administration, the goals appear to be within reach.

Stay Broad
Investors should not consider solar and wind as their only renewable energy plays. In 2007, hydroelectric power and energy from biomass were larger proportional contributors to U.S. energy consumption than solar or wind.

Falling Crude Prices
The step toward energy independence was given a stronger push earlier in the year when the price for a barrel of oil went up to $147 per barrel on the futures exchange and gas prices followed, rising as high as $4.11 per gallon on July 17, according to the Automobile Association of America (AAA). Oil prices have since fallen to $65.82 per barrel as of November 5 and AAA reports the current average cost for a gallon of regular gas at $2.37. (To better understand the ups and downs of oil prices, read What Determines Oil Prices?.)

Final Thoughts
Exchange-traded funds that cover slices of the renewable energy market are a low-cost option for investors to gain both exposure and diversification in the sector. (For more reading on diversification, be sure to check out The Importance of Diversification.)

Without the motivating factor of rising fuel costs and skyrocketing food prices, the need for greater use of renewable energy gets cast aside. However, a mixture of tax credits, strict adherence to state renewable portfolio standards and new leadership in Washington all may play a role in turning the economy green and benefiting renewable ETFs.

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