How will the crisis in Japan and North Africa impact on the renewable energy sector?

The last six months have seen a sharply rising oil price as unrest within key oil-producing states has intensified. This, combined with dramatic and still unfolding news from Japan highlighting the huge dangers associated with nuclear power, is causing some managers to look closely at the potential for renewable energy stocks to advance through 2011.

With many renewable energy investments still trading at relative lows as a result of negative coverage during 2010 – as state subsidies came under pressure – some expert commentators are suggesting that 2011 could see a resurgence of interest in renewable energy:
"We believe that there is strong potential for clean energy to play catch up with the oil price. However, we are mindful that many parts of the clean energy sector face headwinds from over-capacity and the uncertain path of government legislation. We are therefore selective in our exposure, backing cheap solar manufacturers Trina and Yingli and the wind developer Iberdrola Renovables.” Clare Brook Fund Manager at Wheb Asset Management