What happened

FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) stock is up 8.6%. Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) shares are up 8.4%. Even Westport Fuel Systems (NASDAQ:WPRT) -- which doesn't make fuel cells, but does design engines to run on natural gas -- is enjoying a strong 7.8% run this afternoon in 2:30 p.m. EST trading.

Apparently, Wednesday is going to be a good day to own renewable energy stocks. But don't you wonder why?

Arrow angles up on a green stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

I certainly do. And yet, in the absence of any analyst upgrades or price target rises, and with the lack of any earnings announcements or preannouncements of the same, there seems to be no obvious news explaining today's rising alternative energy stocks. Rather, investors just seem all-around optimistic about renewable energy... and I think I know why.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) just released a report in which it notes that almost 90% of new electricity production capacity in 2020 used renewable energy (such as hydrogen fuel cells) as their source. And at the rate new renewable energy sources are coming on line, IEA predicts that by 2025 renewable energy will become the world's largest source of electrical power, displacing coal from that perch.  

This sounds like good news for fuel cell companies like Bloom and FuelCell Energy, which use hydrogen as their fuel source. Admittedly, one of the three stocks named above, Westport Fuel Systems, doesn't do fuel cells -- but it does do natural gas. And while natural gas is not technically a renewable form of energy, it is a cleaner and less carbon-intensive kind of hydrocarbon than is coal, and thus, increasing usage of natural gas instead of coal would tend to play into the same trend that IEA sees happening with true renewables.

Now what

On top of all this, President-elect Joe Biden has committed to making $1.7 trillion in investments in green energy infrastructure. Recognizing this, IEA notes in its report that once Biden takes office, his pro-green energy agenda could accelerate the shift to renewable energy even faster than it is already on pace to happen.

For Bloom, for FuelCell, and for Westport -- none of which have earned any profit at all over the last 12 months, and each of which is burning cash like mad -- the sooner that shift happens, the better.

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.