What happened

SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) stock is glowing green today, apparently buoyed by a positive report on the progress of solar power, in general, which was just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In afternoon trading, SunPower shares are up 9.4% as of 1:50 p.m. EDT.

A glowing green arrow climbs higher on a stock screen

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

What did EIA have to say that has SunPower investors so pleased?

As SolarPowerWorldOnline.com reports, the latest issue of EIA's Electric Power Monthly noted that solar-power generation in the United States grew strongly, even in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the period from January through July (the latest data available), EIA notes that solar-generated electricity expanded by 22.2% year over year in the U.S.

Wind power grew, too -- up 13% -- and electricity generated from all "renewable" sources combined (including hydropower, geothermal, and biomass, for example) now make up 21.2% of total electrical output in the United States.

Now what

Granted, solar power, in particular, still makes up only 3.4% of the nation's total electrical output, which is less than half of wind power's share, but solar's share of the total is growing fastest of all. What's more, that growth is ongoing. Citing data from the EIA's Monthly Energy Review covering trends in June, in particular, solar-power output in that month grew 20.7% year over year.

That's not as fast as for the year to date, but it's still fast -- and that's good news for SunPower stock.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.