The estimated cost of the disaster in Japan was raised to about $309 billion, making it the world’s most expensive natural disaster.  Re-insurers are not expected to take as big a hit as was initially expected.  But the impact from the nuclear reactors could have an impact on renewable energy and exchange traded funds (ETFs). [All Eyes Are On Energy ETFs.]

In the long term, the disaster in Japan may force other countries, including the United States, to create policies that favor renewable energy. Maybe one of the benefits of all of this is that the importance of clean energy will come to the forefront.

Investors are waiting for some of the uncertainty in the stock markets and Japan to dissipate before buying any alternative energy funds, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping a watch on the sector. Jessica Toonkel for InvestmentNews reports companies that create solar panels are beginning to see a rise in share price. Analysts remark that even if Japan averts a nuclear crisis, the cost of nuclear power will rise worldwide as a result of this incident. [Looking At Alternative Energy With ETFs.]

Germany, China and Switzerland have announced moratoriums on plans to build and replace nuclear plants, while officials in France, Spain and the United States said that they are examining the situation. Some of the alternative energy funds include:

  • Guggenheim Global Solar (NYSEArca: TAN) up 4.0% over the past 10 days
  • Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy (NYSEArca: GEX) up 3.7% over the past 10 days
  • PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NYSEArca: PBW) down 1.5% over the past 10 days

For more information on alternative energy, visit our categories: alternative energy, solar, wind

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.