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Nuclear concerns in Japan cause policy shocks internationally

March 17, 2011


The partial nuclear meltdown in Japan is causing mixed reactions for policy makers around the world, as they respond to concerns from citizens about the safety of this energy source. On the other side of the coin, these same policy makers are grappling with rising energy prices due to unrest in the Middle East. The question becomes: what source should we look to for our energy needs in the coming years? German Chancellor Angela Merkel has responded by moving away from nuclear production. Oppositely, here in the U.S. policy makers plan to move ahead with nuclear expansion, calling for increased security precautions. Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu made it clear nuclear would continue to be a part of the diverse package of energy sources U.S. policy makers will pursue.
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The rise of global food and energy prices may drive greater diversity in the energy market, and potentially the growth of the clean tech industry.

Internationally clean technology markets are mixed. The Chinese solar industry, particularly photovoltaic cell maker Hanwha Solar One, is experiencing a dip in first quarter prices. In the Middle East, there is new activity in the renewable energy sector. USAID is promoting clean technology growth in Jordan, under the pretense of the need for energy security and water conservation. If projects move forward, Jordan could be set to lead the clean technology sector in the Middle East.

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