China May Scrap Some Nuclear Power For Solar Power

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11:02:23 am on March 31, 2011

According to Bloomberg, the Nation Development & Reform Commission in China has said that it will reduce its 2020 target for nuclear power from 80GW, but didn’t say by how much.  The beneficiary?  Solar power companies.  The commission plans to increase its solar power capacity estimate for 2020 from 20GW, but also didn’t specify by exactly how much. 

Obviously it’s a tremendous tragedy what’s happening in Japan with the nuclear power crisis on top of the devastation from the earthquake, but nuclear power has to be a major player as our energy needs continue to skyrocket.  That being said there has to be a complete review of existing plants and how plants are built in the future to withstand earthquakes.  Some analysts are saying that this reaction by the Chinese is more about delaying projects to make sure all safety precautions are in place rather than a major shift in energy policy.  As the world’s largest consumer of energy, nuclear will have to continue to play a significant role particularly if the aim is to decrease pollution created by coal AND avoid energy shortages.  Currently China is building more nuclear power plants than any other nation with 27 in development and 50 more planned.

Solar stocks aren’t moving much on this report since they have already rallied since news of the nuclear power leaks emerged.  Today, one of the top China solar stocks, Trina Solar (TSL), is leading the pack up around 1.5%.

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