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Data: FactSet; Note: XOP is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) of U.S.-based oil and gas stocks. ICLN is an ETF of global clean energy stocks. Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Go deeper: Global investments in clean-energy tech reach record high

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.