Three stocks to play the clean tech theme after Biden signed the largest climate bill in U.S. history

The recently signed into law Inflation Reduction Act is a gamechanger for renewable energy, and will benefit a number of stocks across industries, according to Morgan Stanley. The firm said the bill, which includes $369 billion for energy and climate initiatives, is a “big deal for U.S. clean tech.” The legislation prompted Morgan Stanley to raise its growth and price targets across the industry. “The Inflation Reduction Act … will in our view accelerate the decarbonization of the U.S. economy, lead to significant increased domestic manufacturing, and provide the necessary support to jump-start decarbonization technologies that are on the cusp of being commercially viable,” analysts led by Stephen Byrd wrote Thursday in a note to clients. Residential solar installer Sunrun is one of the firm’s top picks. Byrd said Sunrun’s net value per customer could increase from $7,000 to $10,000 thanks to initiatives in the IRA as well as the possibility of higher utility bills prompting consumers to go solar. The firm lifted its price target on Sunrun from $70 to $79, which is roughly 125% above where shares closed Thursday. “We are now forecasting installations to grow 25% per year through 2025,” which is ahead of the prior 20% growth forecast. Sunrun’s partnership with Ford is another factor Byrd pointed to that could lead to share appreciation. Sunrun shares have surged more than 40% over the last month after the legislation’s surprise announcement propelled stocks across the clean energy ecosystem higher. But the stock is still 42% below its recent high in November. The movement is not unique to Sunrun. Both the Invesco Solar ETF and the iShares Global Clean Energy Fund are up more than 20% in the last month, but still below their November highs by more than 10%. Still, the recent appreciation has prompted some to say the gains are overdone. But Morgan Stanley said the clean tech sector as a whole is still pricing in modest growth. AES is another of Morgan Stanley’s top picks, with the firm saying that its exposure to future renewables growth is not accurately reflected in the stock price. Byrd raised his price target on shares of the utility company from $29.50 to $32, which is 23% above where shares closed on Thursday. “We have updated our model to reflect stronger utility-scale solar and battery storage growth through 2035, as well as the additional renewable growth opportunity for the US green hydrogen market under the IRA,” the firm said. The package also includes support for green hydrogen, leading Morgan Stanley to raise its target on Plug Power . “The single biggest beneficiary, from an asset class perspective, would in our view be clean hydrogen,” the firm said. Byrd raised his target from $42 to $53, which is 86% above where the stock ended Thursday. “We are now forecasting 51% annual revenue growth through 2030 versus our prior forecast of 46% annual growth through 2030,” he said. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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