Biden's US election win drives up stocks in Kiwi clean energy companies

Kiwi clean energy companies are seeing a boost in their share price, which one expert has put down the prospect of a Joe Biden presidency in the US.

Biden, who defeated incumbent Donald Trump earlier this month, has promised to reverse the US' move back towards coal and fossil fuels. 

He'll bring the US back into the Paris Agreement to lower emissions, bring in new pollution and fuel standards, and like New Zealand wants to put his nation on track for zero net emissions by 2050. 

But as far as the markets are concerned, it's his promise to invest US$400 billion into clean energy and technology - twice what the country spent to put a man on the moon, according to his website. 

That promise has seen clean energy stocks worldwide boom. 

"His focus on investing in renewable energy... has meant our electricity companies - and we are the third-most renewable country in the OECD - have seen a lot of buying of their shares," Milford Asset Management senior analyst Frances Sweetman told The AM Show on Thursday. 

Meridian, half-owned by the New Zealand Government, has seen its share price rise 15 percent since the start of the month. 

"Meridian has been one of the biggest beneficiaries because it's big and it's 100 percent renewable." 

The world simply has to move to clean energy in order to have a chance of avoiding climate catastrophe, and Biden's win will hopefully hasten that move. During his presidency, Trump made the US the only country in the world to renege on the Paris Agreement, and according to a tally recorded by the New York Times, rolled back more than 100 environmental regulations. 

Sweetman said investors' rush to clean energy stocks could perhaps be a sign they're confident he'll be an eight-year President, but there's no doubt some will be in it to make a quick buck. There's no guarantee whether Biden will be able to get much of his agenda put into practise, with control of the Senate on a knife-edge.

"No one even yet knows who's going to control the Senate, so there is an element of fast-money in there. But the interesting part for our New Zealand electricity sector is we also have Government regulation overhanging it that I don't think these global investors quite understand, and what impact an Onslow pumped hydro scheme would have on the local share prices."

The Onslow scheme, if it goes ahead, is expected to dramatically lower the price of electricity in New Zealand - possibly making Kiwi stocks less attractive to global investors.