What happened 

Shares of fuel cell and battery stocks had a great day on Monday with many climbing over 10%. FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) led the pack, rising as much as 57% in a steady climb during the day. Shares are up 51.1% at 3:15 p.m. EST. 

Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) was up 12.2% at its peak and is now trading 11.9% higher for the day. Battery company Eos Energy Enterprises (NASDAQ:EOSE) also rose 14.4% and is now up 13.2%. This follows a number of other big renewable energy stocks also climbing double digits today. 

Wind, solar, and energy storage assets in a large industrial park.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The strange thing about today's move is that it's not driven by much news at all. But almost every stock that's related to electric vehicles, fuel cells, and batteries is up big today

What I see as the most notable news today is President-elect Joe Biden selecting former Secretary of State John Kerry as his "climate czar." The fact that a big name like Kerry is going to be tasked with climate change in the Biden administration gives at least a small nod to the industry. It may also mean Biden is eager to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which Kerry was involved in negotiating.

Renewable energy stocks have been on fire over the last few months partly because of their improving economic viability against fossil fuels, but partly because there was speculation that a Biden administration will adopt more friendly policies than President Donald Trump did. Emerging markets like hydrogen -- where Fuel Cell Energy and Ballard Power Systems operate -- and battery storage (Eos' specialty) are going to be businesses where Biden can affect policy without Congressional action through regulators. 

Now what

Besides speculation on how policies will change in 2021, the renewable energy industry is experiencing a huge amount of momentum right now. And sometimes that's enough to move stocks in an entire industry. That's the biggest story I see today. You can see below that FuelCell Energy, in particular, has had a good last few weeks and Ballard Power Systems has been on the rise as well. Eos is new to the market but is up nearly 50% in just over a week. 

FCEL Chart

FCEL data by YCharts

Between climate change getting a higher political profile and the momentum renewable energy stocks have on Wall Street, we're seeing a number of stocks move sharply higher today. FuelCell Energy led the charge, but Ballard Power Systems and Eos Energy Enterprises aren't far behind. 

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.