What happened

Shares of renewable energy stocks are up big on Thursday on relatively little news in the market. Renewable energy companies have had a good few months, climbing as demand for their products has grown despite COVID-19, and today's move seems to be a continuation of that trend.

Shares of Bloom Energy (BE 3.56%) rose as much as 12.8%, and Plug Power's (PLUG 5.69%) shares climbed up to 12.1% around midday. Shares of the two renewable energy stocks were up 9% and 7.2%, respectively, at 1:15 p.m. EDT.

The other notable move higher was from Enphase Energy (ENPH 6.54%), which saw shares rise 7.3% this morning. They're currently up 5.6%.

Hydrogen, solar, and wind assets near a forest.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

A few broad themes are helping drive renewable energy stocks higher right now. The first is that earnings have been much better than expected and, in some cases, are showing growth despite the pandemic. Over the long term, it's earnings growth that will drive renewable energy stocks higher.

On the political front, presidential candidate Joe Biden's choice of Kamala Harris has to be seen as an incremental positive for the industry. Harris is from California, which leads the U.S. in renewable energy deployment by a wide margin. Harris has been a co-sponsor on the Green New Deal resolution and introduced legislation like the Climate Equity Act and Environmental Justice for All Act with some of the most ardent renewable energy supporters in Congress.

A number of renewable energy stocks are moving higher today, and you might notice from the ones highlighted here that they aren't all from the same corners of the market. Solar stocks are moving higher, shares of EV manufacturers are up, and hydrogen continues to be hot in this market. Sometimes the market pushes an entire segment higher, and today, that segment appears to be renewable energy.

Now what

While today's move might not be very news driven, it's still notable for long-term investors. I think there's growing optimism that policy for renewable energy will get better if the Biden-Harris ticket wins in November. With current election models giving that victory a high likelihood, the market is starting to price it in.

It's also worth noting that mid-2020 hasn't been as bad as feared for a lot of renewable energy companies. The market could have cratered if homeowners decided to forego solar installations or companies put off investments in new technologies. Instead, the opposite might be happening, with everyone from the biggest shipping companies to individuals looking for ways to save money and invest in technologies that are disrupting energy. The pandemic might have accelerated trends that were already taking place, and for renewable energy, that's going to lead to more investment, which could be why shares are up today.