Although consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of taking care of the environment, there are not many options for investors to invest in alternative-energy and environmental technologies, according to BusinessWeek.Capitalizing on the shortage, Wall Street is creating new exchange-traded funds that provide investors with exposure to alternative energy companies in a straightforward, cost-effective way, yet without the risk of putting all their investments in one basket.

As of this year, there are at least five ETFs focused on alternative energy and a slew of new indexes that let investors track the performance of the industry as a whole, as well as sub-segments like energy generation.

Van Eck Global Alternative Energy ETF started trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. The fund tracks the Ardour Global Index comprised of stocks in 30 publicly traded companies involved in alternative energy production.

The popular PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF tracks the WilderHill Clean Energy Index. The index is comprised of 40 different companies involved in alternative energy production or technology. The Clean Energy Portfolio has a market capitalization of almost $1 billion.

Several more alternative energy indexes have been announced that may lead to new ETFs in the future. The creation of a series of three clean technology indexes was announced by New York-based investment bank Jefferies & Co.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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