The nuclear power plant crisis unfolding in Japan following the massive earthquake last week has the world’s nuclear energy community scrambling, while the renewable energy sector reaps the benefits. Various countries around the world, in Europe in particular, are rethinking their nuclear power strategies, and traders are making a bold and dramatic shift toward renewable energy—solar being the number one pick.
Solar stocks are soaring this week, and energy analysts predict that more countries and businesses will turn to renewables and natural gas in the wake of Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis. Nuclear has almost overnight become more expensive than ever, now that new safeguards will need to be considered in their construction. Solar power, on the other hand, is being hailed as a cheaper, faster and more flexible alternative, and may be the key to seeing Japan through their pending energy crisis now that several nuclear reactors will no longer be supplying electricity to the devastated country.
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Ironically, it was just reported yesterday that the solar industry would take a beating from the Japanese earthquake situation since several solar panel companies rely on Japanese components and manufacturing, which has come to a halt. However, the stock market says otherwise, and it seems that investors are taking the earthquake and nuclear crisis as a sign that renewables are the smart investment for the future.
Japanese stocks fell 10 percent in recent days. Europe is down 3 percent, and the U.S. down 2.5 percent on the Nasdaq.
However, trading today shows a remarkable surge in solar power investment, as solar energy companies are on the rise. First Solar
(FSLR) is up $3.84 (2.6 percent) to $150.75. Suntech (STP) is up 25 cents (3 percent) to $8.53. SunPower
(SPWRA) is up 81 cents (5.6 percent) to $15.31. Yingli Green Energy (YGE) is up 28 cents (2.5 percent) to $11.54. Finally, Canadian Solar (CSIQ) is up 44 cents (4.1 percent) to $11.19.
Leading the solar stock rise is German solar panel company, Solarworld AG
, whose stock rose 32 percent. This is undoubtedly related to Germany’s decision to shut down nuclear power activities countrywide.
Perhaps the tragedy that is the earthquake in Japan will usher in a new era in renewable energy, and the risky, dangerous era of nuclear energy will come to its conclusion.