Impact on Economy and Location
Stocks related to wind and solar energy underperformed substantially over the past year. Although many commentators hyped the group as a play on Obama's presidency and a global cap-and-trade scheme, savvy investors made real money last year in stocks related to dirty energy sources such as coal and oil.
And don't expect wind and solar energy names to perform well this year. Even with demand likely to bounce back, both industries face massive overcapacity and falling profit margins. For solar energy stocks, a big drop in subsidies from the German government remains a major headwind. Check out the graph below.