After a banner 2020, cleantech poised to accelerate under Biden
After booming in 2020, stocks of clean-energy companies are poised to keep going up with President Biden pushing policies favorable to their bottom lines.
Where it stands: Cleantech stocks have blown past their last high in the mid-2000’s, which burst in the 2008 financial crisis. Not so far this time despite the pandemic crushing economies everywhere — and the oil industry.
The intrigue: The offshore wind sector could see enormous and quick growth. The Trump administration was slow in reviewing several proposed projects across the Eastern Seaboard, but Biden has signaled he will move swiftly here.
- “We are in the sweet spot of where this country is going to continue to go from a clean energy perspective,” said Dennis Arriola, CEO of Avangrid, a subsidiary of Spanish energy company Iberdrola.
- Avangrid is working with Denmark’s Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to build what could be America’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind, located off the coast of Massachusetts.
- It plans to resubmit a federal application for that project soon, Arriola told Axios and Reuters.
The big picture: “I thought the pandemic would have a bigger negative effect on investments in the energy transition than it did have,” said Angus McCrone, chief editor of BloombergNEF, which issued a report this week finding that investments last year into such technologies broached a half-trillion dollars for the first time ever.
- “A number of aspects probably served to influence investors and governments toward wanting to take more action more quickly on this issue than the other way around,” he said.
- This includes places like Europe, which the report found led much of the spending growth, prioritizing clean energy and climate in recovery packages, McCrone said.
Yes, but: McCrone says investments should be at least 50% higher, if not twice as high as $500 billion within the next decade.
- Avangrid is facing permitting challenges that beset many other cleantech companies, all of which will make it harder to rapidly increase such investments.
- The developer tangled with President Trump’s Interior Department, which governs energy production in federal waters, over its wind farm application. It has also faced criticism for how it worked with the commercial fishing industry upset by the proposal.