This clean energy fund has gained 80% this year as renewable stocks shine

A person charges a Tesla Inc. vehicle at a charging station in San Mateo, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
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One clean energy-focused fund is outperforming 99% of its peers this year as bets on companies like Tesla and Workhorse Group drive returns.

ALPS Clean Energy is an exchange-traded fund comprised of U.S. and Canada-based companies whose business models are at least 50% dependent on clean energy. "That helps to purify what we have from a holdings standpoint," ALPS director of ETF portfolio management Andy Hicks told CNBC. "A lot of these other clean energy funds have semiconductors and industrial names in there that are largely trading off consumer electronics or certain capital goods that are not clean energy related ... we wanted to create a very pure product," he said.

The fund, which trades under the ticker ACES, has returned 80% this year, far surpassing the S&P 500's 9% gain.