Updated from 12:52 p.m. EDTShares of Suntech Power ( STP) and Yingli Green Energy ( YGE) led solar energy stocks higher on Thursday. Suntech fnished up 44%, or $3.44, to $11.29, while Yingli was up almost 45%, or $1.86 to $6.01. DigiTimes reported that the Chinese government has shown more interest in developing and supporting solar energy. Most of the companies whose shares were soaring Thursday are based in China. LDK Solar ( LDK) rose 32%, or $1.87 to $7.76. JA Solar ( JASO) was up 42%, or $1.11 to $3.77. China Sun Energy ( CSUN) closed up 30%, or 75 cents to $3.25. Solarfun Power ( SOLF) finished up 42%, or $1.49 to $5.06. Canadian Solar ( CSIQ), whose primary business is in rural China, was up 28%, or $1.33, to $6.16. Among U.S. solar companies, Phoenix-based First Solar ( FSLR) rose 12%, or $16.41 to $150.39. Omaha, Neb.-based Green Plains Renewable Energy ( GPRE) shares were up 29%, or 57 cents, to $2.57.