Nuclear Power Investment To Shift To Renewables .. And Coal

Panel Image: BigStock

The fallout from the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Japan is more than just radioactive – it’s effects are extending into politics and future nuclear investment.
While Japan struggles with the tsunami disaster and nuclear reactor crisis that occurred in mid-March, the toll on the nuclear industry has extended far beyond the nation’s borders.
In the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the conservative party has had its 58 year reign ended as a direct result of Japan’s nuclear crisis, with a Green lead alliance winning a majority. 
While a solar power stronghold, Germany also has a substantial heavily subsidised nuclear industry; one that not only costs taxpayers billions, but causes many citizens of the country other concerns. The level of disquiet was demonstrated by a 250,000 strong turnout on the weekend protesting against nuclear power.
The crisis will have an impact on future investment in nuclear power around the world too – but it will be a double edged sword.
According to a forecast from U.S. market research company McIlvaine,  as a direct result of the incident in Japan, $200 billion in investment will be shifted from nuclear energy to other areas in the next five years. Wind energy investment will rise by $40 billion and solar power by $20 billion.
However, investment in coal-fired boilers will rise by $100 billion and longer term, the biggest shift will be from nuclear to coal. McIlvaine says China is both a major coal producer and the largest potential investor in nuclear power plants. India will also be influenced to put more emphasis on coal, even given its National Solar Mission focus. 
McIlvaine doesn’t foresee a huge shift to gas-fired power as since the price of oil is expected to increase, gas will follow suit due to the demand for gas-to-liquid products and be too expensive as primary fuel for electricity generation.