Joe Biden winning the US presidency means the world’s largest economy has started on a path to nationwide energy transition. In the run-up to the election, the Biden-Harris campaign made pledges to support renewable energy development and increase the worth of the US energy market.
The president-elect’s stated climate ambitions were reflected on US stock markets, which reacted when they reopened on Monday.
Biden election encourages solar market
Renewable energy companies saw stock prices rally over the weekend. US solar manufacturer and developer FirstSolar has one of the largest revenues of any renewables company worldwide. Over the weekend when the election was called for Biden, it saw its market value increase by 11.1%.
The election’s effect was so keenly felt for FirstSolar that its share price suffered throughout Wednesday when no clear winner emerged and Trump polled stronger than previously expected.
With a slightly smaller income over the past year, SunPower Corp. also saw an increase. On Monday, stocks opened 5.3% above where they closed on Friday. However, this increase was soon demolished by morning trading.
Biden’s campaign has pledged to increase solar uptake, including eight million household solar installations. US trade body Solar Energy Industries Association recently released an action plan for the next Congress, setting out its support for legislation to expand the solar market. It expressed support for legislation to establish carbon pricing and said it is seeking tax relief for energy storage construction.
Global wind market jumps up, along with US biofuels
Coverage of the US election has often emphasised the global ramifications of US leadership. This global effect caused the price of Danish wind developer Vestas to leap on Monday morning.
A similar effect could be seen in renewable development giant Iberdrola and wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, both located in Spain. Between them, these three companies occupy leading positions in the renewables industry. The three companies brought in $64.5bn in the twelve months to September 2020.
In a similar market, Renewable Energy Group saw stocks rise by 8.6% over the weekend. The company manufactures biomass-based diesel and has seen its stock almost double in price since the start of the year The company also saw a jump on Friday morning after its third-quarter results showed a $26m profit in the third quarter.
Oil and gas focuses elsewhere
Over the past four years, President Trump aimed to remove regulations and environmental controls, allowing oil and gas companies to build where they previously could not.
With Biden’s aim to tackle climate change and support renewable energy development, some might have thought his election would mean bad news for the petroleum industry.
However, ExxonMobil’s stock market price jumped up by 11% after Biden became President-elect. While this sound like a large movement, it represents a price increase of $3. Oil and gas stocks continue to suffer from the pandemic, and Exxon has lost the top spot as a result.
This year, Chevron surpassed ExxonMobil as the US’ largest oil and gas company. Its stocks jumped by 12.4% over the same weekend.
Speculators have put this movement down to good news surrounding a possible Covid-19 vaccine. European oil and gas companies also saw prices surge over the weekend, as US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer released promising results from its vaccine trials.