While the U.S. government has made headlines with pledges to get the country green and invest in renewable energy sources, shares of related companies in Europe remain a tough call for investors. Europe houses many big alternative energy providers in the key solar and wind space, such as Germany's SolarWorld and Copenhagen-based Vestas Wind Systems.
Societe Generale's European Renewable Energy Index, which tracks the performance of the largest stocks in the renewable space, is up 8% year-to-date, but lost 60% in 2008.
Many shares in the space are coming off big losses.Shares of SolarWorld are up 13% year-to-date, Vestas is up 26%, and Spanish wind giant Iberdrola Renovables is up 6%, but another big German solar player, Q-Cells is down more than 40%.
"Unfortunately, there are good reasons why the stocks have been hit -- both sectors are looking at a lower demand/higher supply situation in the short term," said New York- based Sarah Hunt, senior associate portfolio manager for Alpine Mutual Funds....MORE