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Clean-Energy Companies Jump as Japan Nuclear Crisis Worsens

Equipment makers for solar and wind energy climbed as much as 27 percent, rallying for a second day on speculation that clean energy will benefit in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear-reactor accident.

In Germany, the world’s largest solar-panel market, photovoltaic panel producer Solarworld AG jumped 23 percent at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Frankfurt. Rival Q-Cells AG gained 17 percent. Among wind turbine companies, Nordex SE rose 19 percent, and in the U.S. Broadwind Energy Inc. jumped 24 percent.

Germany will halt nuclear reactors accounting for 25 percent of its atomic energy capacity as part of a safety review after explosions at reactors in Japan, Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin today. The government will use the three-month moratorium on the extension of the life of German nuclear plants announced yesterday to review whether the country can speed up installations of renewable energy.

“The nuclear catastrophe in Japan has changed the value of nuclear for good -- and inversely that of all alternatives, the best of which being hydro,” Ingo Becker, an analyst at Kepler in Frankfurt, wrote in a note to customers yesterday.

Solaria Energia y Medio Ambiente SA, a Madrid-based developer of solar farms and maker of photovoltaic panels, jumped 27 percent, its biggest increase on record.

In Austria, Verbund AG rose the most since November 2008 in intraday trading, up 9.6 percent in Vienna. Austria’s biggest utility gets about 90 percent of its domestic output from hydropower. It had the biggest increase in the 29-member Bloomberg European Utilities Index, which fell 1.5 percent.

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