Fukushima fallout could create 100 GW of newly installed PV

According to analyst Matthias Fawer, the Swiss-based bank has raised its global forecasts for newly installed PV capacity from 166 to 296 GW until 2015. "We see additional potential in those markets where generating costs of PV are quite as low as southern Europe or the Southwest of the U.S.," he tells pv magazine.

He expects that the nuclear disaster will put an end to the continuing trend of cutting subsides. Nevertheless, Sarasin believes the wind industry will be more affected, with the bank boosting its forecasts from 518 to 839 GW.

The additional realization of new renewable plants will not be caused by ideological reasons, but of the failing economics for nuclear power, he adds. "New safety standards will make existing and new nuclear power plants economically no more profitable."

The new calculation is based on the assumption that all nuclear power plants older than 30 years will be shut down step by step. Furthermore, the realization of new nuclear power plants is expected to be delayed by, on average, around five years.

All in all, Fawer expects that one third of new and old capacity will be replaced by renewable plants with an overall capacity of 500 GW. In terms of new investors he predicts that smaller utilities "that do not own big existing power plant portfolios" will come to the fore.