Electric energy stocks tied to the "green economy" are performing particularly well this morning, with shares of electric car-charging network operator Blink Charging ( BLNK 0.32% ) zipping ahead 14.5% in 11:20 a.m. EST trading, Chinese car battery manufacturer CBAK Energy Technology ( CBAT 1.72% ) up an even stronger 14.9%, and electric power microinverter maker Enphase Energy ( ENPH -1.56% ) posting a 7.6% gain.
Credit for most of the above goes to Congress.
There is some stock-specific news to report today. Blink Charging just announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with Lehigh Valley Health Network that will see the charging company install a total of 219 car chargers at 35 "hospitals, health centers, physician practices, rehabilitation locations, ExpressCARE sites and other outpatient care locations" operated by the healthcare network. Installation has already begun, and most of the chargers are scheduled to be installed in 2021. After that, Blink says its contract will run for an initial seven-year period, and may last as long as 21 years in total, if all options are exercised.
Thus, this seems an extraordinarily long-term relationship that Blink has secured, which certainly sounds like good news for the stock. More broadly than the Blink deal, however, it seems that stocks like Blink, CBAK, and Enphase are responding to news out of Washington regarding renewable energy funding that has been tucked into the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that Congress passed last night.
As The Washington Post reports, in addition to a flurry of $600 stimulus checks that will be mailed out to American taxpayers, and which are certainly the headline development, Congress' just-passed stimulus bill includes $35 billion in funding for "new renewable energy measures." Of particular interest to investors in Blink, CBAK, and Enphase may be the allocation of $1.1 billion for energy storage (i.e. electric batteries), and $2.4 billion for modernizing the electric grid (which could include funds for electric car charging networks).
Moreover, even these billions in funding could be only the beginning. Commenting on the bill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumersaid that the funds allocated as part of coronavirus relief are not sufficient "to meet the demands of science," and are only "a significant step in the right direction."
The logical implication: $3.5 billion in funding specifically tailored to companies using new forms of electric power to combat global warming is only the beginning, and once President Joe Biden moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, both Congress and the White House will be pressing for even more financial support for these kinds of companies.
No wonder renewable energy investors are excited.