Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended February 13, 2009

Feb 15, 2009
Author: Administrator

Despite all ofthe downbeat reports about tight credit markets slowing alt energy growth andresulting in delayed projects, we continue to be encouraged by announcements ofan increasing demand. Here are just a few of this week’s announcements ofscale:

·      Kansas utility Westar Energy saidthis week it is considering adding as much as 500MW in renewable energy and itis asking for bids and proposals. Up to 200MW of this could be online by 2010and the remainder by 2013.

·      BrightSource Energy announced a20-year supply contract with Southern California Edison for 1,300MW of solarenergy (the largest solar thermal contract announced to date) which will besupplied by seven plants being built in the next seven years in California.

·      The Los Angeles Unified SchoolDistrict Announced a $350 million solar energy program, with plans to install$12.5 million in solar energy annually for 20 to 25 years. Its goal is togenerate 50MW of solar energy by 2012.

·      Public Service Enterprise Groupwill spend $774 million over five years on solar installations on power polesand government buildings, adding 120MW of solar energy.

And the stimulusbill, which is finally approved, has more impressive implications for alt energyand clean tech. About $50 billion will go to energy programs, including $5billion in weatherization, $6.4 billion to clean up nuclear weapons productionsites, $11 billion to smart grid technologies, $6 billion to subsidize loansfor alt energy projects, $6.3 billion in state energy efficiency and cleanenergy grants, $4.5 billion to make federal buildings more energy efficient,and $2 billion in grants for advanced batteries for EVs.

In terms oftaxes, the bill has about $20 billion in tax incentives for alt energy andenergy efficiency over 10 years – extensions of tax credits for energy producedfrom wind, geothermal, hydro and landfill gas, grants to build alt energyfacilities, tax credits for purchases of energy-efficient furnaces, windows,doors and insulation, and tax credit for families buying PHEVs.

Against thisbackdrop of increasing utility appetite, federal and state support, it isastonishing that so many leaders in the alt energy clean tech public marketsare not seeing more of a benefit in terms of valuations. There is a strongargument that can be made for growth here.



Biofuels and Biomass

The SandiaNational Laboratories and GM released a study that said the U.S. can produceenough ethanol to displace a third of gasoline use in the country by 2030 – orabout 90 billion gallons, with 75 billion gallons coming from cellulosicfeedstocks. The federal mandate calls for 36 billion gallons by 2022.

While FO Licht analystChristoph Berg said the world still hasn’t figured out which feedstock to useto produce next generation biofuels capable of combating climate change. Butthat hasn’t stopped countries from reaching out in collaboration. India and theU.S. signed an MOU to develop biofuels, researching ways to advance conversiontechnologies for sugarcane ethanol and cellulosic, amongst other things.

New JerseyRepresentatives Rob Andrews and John Adler announced a biofuel project at thestate’s McGuire Air Force Base is getting $3.2 million in defense funding.

GreenHunter(NYSE:GRH) said its biodiesel refinery in Houston had a fire which will resultin downtime of about three days. It also closed the sale of its 14MW woodwaste-fired biomass plant in Telogia, Florida for $5.7 million, which includesthe assumption of about $1.7 million in debt, to Multitrade Telogia LLC.

Lignol Energyand Suncor Energy are shelving plans for an $80 million cellulosic ethanolcommercial demonstration plant in Grand Junction, Colorado. The plant wasexpected to have processed about 100 tons of biomass feedstock per year.

Praj Industriesis moving to set up ethanol plants on a trial basis in Maharashtra and Gujurat– each with a 15,000 to 30,000 liter per day capacity.

Nippon Oil,Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kajima Corp, Toyota Motor Corp., Toray Industriesand Sapporo Engineering are creating a research organization to produce about200 million liters of ethanol at a cost of $0.43 per liter by 2015. AndNovozymes CEO Steen Riisgaard said that China may overtake the U.S. as early as2013 with respect to cellulosic production. Novozymes, which provides enzymesto POET, is also working with the China National Cereals  & Foodstuff Corporation. Heforecasted that by next year cellulosic will be made in the U.S. for $2.50 agallon.

Biomass Plantsand Plans Announced

Fibrowattannounced plans to build a $150 million 55MW plant  which is expected to begin construction in 2010, operationsstarting in 2012.

Vattenfall saidit is investing €670 million to rebuild its coal-fired plants in Denmark tosupport biomass fuel as part of its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030.The project would replace 724,000 tons of coal per year with biomass fuel.


Brazil’s autosales are expected to have declined for a fourth consecutive month in January,while sugar production may reach 41.3 million tons in the 2015-2016 season,according to Unica.

Datagro reportedthat ethanol exports in January 2009 fell 13.4% Y/Y to 191.115 million liters from220.71 million liters. In terms of revenue, ethanol output to the internationalmarket generated US $90.88 million in January 09 at an average price of $0.48per liter. Europe was the primary destination for Brazilian ethanol in January,accounting for 32.7% of total exports. The U.S. came in second, receiving49.289 million liters, or 25.8% of total exports.

Flex fuels salesin January grew over December 08 by 3%, but on a Y/Y basis were down by 9%.86.2% of the vehicles sold in Brazil in January were flex fuel.

The Council onHemispheric Affairs published an article, “TheFuture of U.S.-Brazil Energy Relations: An Opportunity for Change or More ofthe Same?” It is worth reading.

Carbon, Clean Tech, Emissions and Climate Change

The UN’semissions-trading market expects a 50% increase in GHG reduction projectregistrations this year. The number of projects requesting registration andissuance increased 175% between 2006 and 2008.

Fuel Tech(Nasdaq:FTEK) received a $2.9 million order for its High Energy ReagentTechnology™ for NOx reduction, from a northeastern electric utility. Inresponse to environmental permit requirements.

In another moveto reverse the EPA’s mandate under the Bush administration, the EPA said thisweek it is delaying a rule issued in Bush’s last days in office that would havelet some industrial facilities avoid installing pollution controls when theyexpand.  And the Obama administrationis signaling it is willing to take a leadership role in addressing climatechange on an international level – a stance that Bush clearly didn’t take. TheUN climate chief said this week regarding the U.S. policy shift on climatechange as a “night-and-day change”.

The Mine SurfaceBoard held a hearing this week at the Department of Environmental Protectionheadquarters in Charleston to hear an appeal of a permit which would let MasseyEnergy begin mountain-top mining on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia.

More fines –Frontier Refining and Frontier El Dorado Refining are paying a civil penalty of$1.23 million and will spend about $127 million in pollution control upgrades,and Wyoming Refining Co. will pay a civil penalty of $150,000 in addition toabout $14 million to be spent on similar upgrades for violations. And ADM(NYSE:ADM) said this week it may face a criminal indictment over the way itdischarged wastewater at a Missouri facility.

The UK’sDepartment of Energy and Climate Change is advocating a plan to refurbish 7million homes by 2020 and all UK homes by 2030 to make them more energyefficient. The plan is intended to reduce carbon emissions from the householdsector, which accounts for 27% of the total, to achieve its 80% target by 2020.

More than 350cities in the EU signed up to commitments beyond the EU’s targets for GHGreduction by 20% by 2020 over the 1990 levels this week, in a plan called theCovenant of Mayors.

Carbon TradingMarkets

European carbonprices continue to slide as the global economic environment continues todeteriorate – lower demand for fuels and consumer goods is resulting in lowerindustrial output which has created oversupply in EU allowances. A keydevelopment may be what the Obama administration is going to do in terms ofbacking a cap-and-trade program, but that could take awhile.

IEA chiefeconomist Fatih Birol said that low carbon prices may lock in a future ofcoal-fired power gen in Europe. Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Lewis forecasts that2009 emissions from sectors within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will be 10%below the same figure in 2007.





Energy Efficiency & Management

AmerenUE unveiled its $24million Business Energy Efficiency Program for businesses to subsidize energyefficiency upgrades.

Google announcedfreeware that will provide consumers with real-time data of electricity usage,the “Google PowerMeter”, which will work on an iGoogle home page, to bereleased later this year. Google intends to release an API  which will enable third-partydevelopers to enhance the application and functionality. Only home withAdvanced Metering Infrastructure will be able to use it.

Itron(Nasdaq:ITRI) released its OpenWay Collection Engine which providesauthentication and enhanced security for Advanced Metering Systems.

LPB EnergyManagement said it has surpassed 16 billion in kWh hours of electricity undercontract for energy procurement and management  since it was established with more than 12 billion kWhcomprised of active contracts.

Energy Storage

Dakota Salts LLCsaid it is going to use voids created by mining to store compressed air to besold to wind farms to generate electricity, as well as to store CO2 from NorthDakota’s coal plants, and natural gas from its oil fields.


Ultralife Corp.(Nasdaq:ULBI) reported a 34% Y/Y increase in Q4 revenue to $49.2 million, andnet income of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per share, compared with net income of$4.4 million, or $0.27 per share for the same period last year. For the FY08,revenue increased 85% Y/Y to $254.7 million with net income at $13.7 million,or $0.78 per share, compared to $5.6 million, or $0.36 for the prior year.Management forecast revenue for FY09 of about $250 million, with operatingincome of about $20 million.

Valence (Nasdaq;VLNC)reported Q3 revenue of $4.7 million, compared to $3.4 million last year, and anet loss of $5.2 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.7million, or $0.05 per share for the same period last year.

EVs, Hybrids and PHEVs

Tesla announcedthat the U.S. DOE may be cutting it a check for $350 million, which would comefrom a $25 billion loan program designed to support the development of morefuel-efficient vehicles. The funds would go to the building of its factory.

Volkswagen is collaboratingwith Toshiba to develop electric drive units. And Ford announced it would bethe first to market with an electric light commercial vehicle for the NorthAmerican market in 2010. The electric van will have a maximum range of 100miles on a single charge and an estimated top speed up 70mph. The battery packwill be supplied by Valance Technology (Nasdaq:VLNC).

In terms ofreally bad, and really ugly developments, Chrysler is set (in our opinion) tolose more money in its electric focused Peapod Mobility business with a“Peapod” vehicle set to go into production which will retail for $12,500 andwill have a top speed of 25mph. It basically looks like a golf cart goneJetson.

The NASA GlennResearch Center is working with the RTA, United Technologies and the GreatLakes Science Center to deliver a fuel cell electric bus powered with hydrogenfrom lake water. It would use electricity produced by a wind turbine and largesolar panel array at the Great Lakes Science Center to break water into hydrogenand oxygen. Fuel cells would combine the hydrogen and oxygen to produceelectricity, with no emissions except for the water vapor. In Germany, NedStackfuel cell technology BV is set to deliver two hydrogen fuel cell system buses,and similar buses will be delivered to the Amsterdam Transport Company.


Electrovaya(EFL.TO) reported a 60% Y/Y revenue increase for Q1 to $792,000 and a netprofit of $26,000, compared to a net loss of $1.39 million for the same periodlast year. As of December 31, 2008, the company had $4.2 million in cash andcash equivalents.


Ormat (NYSE:ORA)commissioned two of four facilities of its OREG 2 Recovered Energy Generationproject. The four facilities will have a net capacity of 5.5MW each, and thetwo remaining facilities are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

U.S. Geothermal(AMEX:HTM) signed an interconnection agreement for its Neal Hot Springsproject, with the Idaho Power Company. The estimated cost for the connectionwill be $3.2 million, and the line is being designed for 36MW of transmissioncapacity.

Green Engineering, Infrastructure and Recycling

SAIC (NYSE:SAI)announced a contract, an Energy Savings Performance Contract,  to design, construct and obtainfinancing for projects that will reduce energy and water consumption and costs,and drive further renewable energy technology adoption across federal agencies.The contract has a five-year base period of performance, two two-year optionsand a total contract ceiling of $5 billion if all options are exercised. TheDOE’s goal is to reduce energy across all agencies by 30%.

Fuji is buildinga recycling factory in Japan at a cost of about ¥2.7 billion ($29.5 million)for home appliances. The company said the number of used electric goods its isprocessing has increased by 47% to 12.11 million in 2007 from 2001.

Hydro, Tidal and Ocean Power

FinaveraRenewables Inc. has filed applications to surrender its federal license for the1-MW Makah Bay Offshore Wave Pilot project in Washington and its preliminarypermit for the 100-MW Humboldt County Offshore Wave Energy Power projectproposed for California.

Peru's Ministeriode Energia y Minas granted a concession to Compania Energetica del Centro toperform a feasibility study of the 180-MW Belo Horizonte hydroelectric projectin Huanuco Department.

The UnitedKingdom's Crown Estate pre-qualified 38 wave and tidal companies and consortiato bid for sites to develop 700 MW of ocean generation in Scotland's PentlandFirth (described as the “Saudi Arabia of tidal power”) by 2020.

India contractor Angelique International Ltd.awarded a subcontract to Australia's Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp. toprovide engineering services for the 28-MW Nyabarongo hydroelectric project onRwanda’s Nyabarongo River.


Barron’sreported this week on its website that Merrill Lynch is calling a shipmentbottom in Q408 and Q109 due to production cutbacks and easing of solar projectfinancing. Merrill expects ASP declines to slow in the Asian sector andincreasing demand on lower prices. 

The Solar EnergyIndustries Association said that it expects the stimulus plan to enablecreation of 67,000 jobs in 2009 and 119,000 jobs over the next two years.

New Jersey’sPublic Service Electric & Gas Co. is installing 200,000 solar panelsthroughout its service area in a $773 million program which will generate 120MWin solar power – subject to approval by state regulators. And the Long IslandPower Authority said it is increasing spending 80% to $14.4 million forresidential rooftop solar power systems and other renewable energy programs.

The EU backedalmost €100 million ($129 million) in aid to two solar projects in Germany,with about €40 million in aid going to ersol Thin Film GmbH for the productionof thin-film modules in Erfut (which would result in 461 jobs created) and €56million going to the Sunfilm company for the production of thin-film modules(expected to result in 380 new jobs).

JA Solar(Nasdaq:JASO) received a 175MW solar cell supply contract from BP Solar for2009, which may expand to as much as 360MW.

Renewable EnergyCorp. (REC.OL) said its poly plant at Moses Lake, Washington will start up inmid-to-late March, after delays that resulted in reduced production targets to11,500 metric tons.

Sanyo said it isbuilding a crystalline plant in Japan with a goal of being operational by 2010.

Downstream &Equipment

ACT Solarreceived an 8MW order for its PowerString power management and optimizationproduct from Pacific Power Management.

Clear SkiesSolar (CSKH.OB) signed an MOU with Badger Creek Development for the design andconstruction of a 2.1MW solar farm in Badger, California. The project isexpected to exceed $8 million, and Clear Skies said it is working with FrontierRenewables LLC an EPC on the engineering.  

Spire(Nasdaq:SPIR) was selected to deliver its Spi-Sun Simulator™ to TÜV RheinlandPTL, LLC, a collaboration between TÜV Rheinland and Arizona State Universityoperating a 40,000 square foot test laboratory.


Amtech Systems(Nasdaq:ASYS) reported Q1 revenue growth of 52% on a Y/Y basis to $17.9million, with solar revenue accounting for $11.1 million, up 113% Y/Y. Grossmargin expanded to 34% from 30% over the period and net income was $860,000, or$0.09 per share, compared to $108,000, or $0.01 per share in the prior year.Backlog at the end of the quarter was $42.4 million (solar representing $35.8million). Management provided Q2 revenue guidance in a range of $12 to $14million, and gross margin in the 20% range, expecting  an operating loss with near break-even EBITDA. It attributedlower shipment volumes, lower margin product mix and push out of orders intofuture quarters as the reasons for expected declines in results.

CentrosolarGroup issued preliminary results of €331.8 million for FY08, up more than 50%Y/Y. PV systems accounted for 73% of FY08 sales and components made up theremainder.

EnergyConversion Devices (Nasdaq:ENER) reported a Q2 profit of $14.2 million, or$0.33 per share compared with a loss of $5.4 million, or $0.14 per share forthe same period last year. Revenue for the quarter grew 83% to $103.1 million.Management guided Q3 revenue in a range between $95 and $110 million, comparedwith Street expectations of $120.2 million. For the year, it expects revenuebetween $395 million and $440 million.

EMCORECorporation (Nasdaq:EMKR) reported a 15% Y/Y increase in Q1 revenue to $54.1million, with $14.9 million coming from its Photovoltaics segment, a 15% Y/Yincrease and 3% sequential increase in revenue. Net loss for the quarter was$53.4 million, an increase of $39 million Y/Y. Management said its orderbacklog is $53.2 million as of 12/31/08, and that while its outlook in theFiber Optics segment remains challenging, the outlook for the PV segment is“encouraging”, and approaching profitability.

JA Solar(Nasdaq:JASO) lowered its 2009 revenue forecast – again – now expecting revenuein a range of $830 to $952 million. In November it had cut forecasts to a rangeof $1.43 to $1.66 billion from a prior forecast of $2 billion to $2.2 billion.Its target for total production output is now 500 to 550MW, with nameplateproduction capacity by year end at 875MW.

SolarWorld(SWV.DE) reported  a Y/Y increasein revenue of 30% for FY08 to €900 million, with EBIT growth of 30% to €260million.

Yingli GreenEnergy (NYSE:YGE) reported a 20% sequential decline in Q4 revenues to RMB1,761.2 million ($258.1 million) and a 21.2% Y/Y increase from RMB 1,453.2million. Management attributed the quarterly decline in sales to lower ASPs andshipment volume. Its ASP for modules in Q4 was $3.19 per watt, down 21% on aquarterly basis. Total PV module shipments for the quarter decreased 1.5% to78.8MW from 80MW in Q308. Gross margin in Q4 declined to 13.2% from 22.3% inQ308 and from 24.7% for the same period last year. Net income was RMB 100.6million ($14.7 million) down 33.3% on a sequential basis and 27.7% Y/Y. Dilutedearnings per ADS were RMB 0.79 ($0.12) for the quarter. FY08 revenues increased86.1% Y/Y to RMB 7,553 million ($107.1 million), driven by an increase inmodule shipments in FY08 to 281.5MW from 142.5MW in FY07. Gross margin for FY08was 21.6% compared to 23.6% in FY07. Net income was RMB 682.1 million ($100million) with earnings per diluted ADS of RMB 5.27 ($0.77). Guidance:management expects PV module shipments in a range of 550MW to 600MW for FY09,which would represent 96.1% to 113.9% Y/Y growth, and gross margins in a rangeof 22% to 24%.

Class Action

EMCORE was namedin a class action suit filed by Glancy Binkow and Goldberg LLP.

Water, Sustainability and Desalination

The $300 milliondesalination project by Poseidon Resources Group for San Diego is being delayeddue to environmental concerns.

The Mayor of LosAngeles called for significant water-use restrictions this week, and a tieredrate system that would reward customers that conserve and punish those whodon’t with higher bills.

ShanghaiElectric Power Generation Group and ACWA Power International announced they areworking together on desal projects in Saudi Arabia and another Gulf country. AndChina’s Water Resources Minister said the country is tightening its waterresources management. It is planning on reducing water consumption per unit ofGDP by 125 cubic meters by 2020, down 60% from current levels, and it expectsto increase 79.5 billion cubic meters of water resources by 2020.


AmericanSuperconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) said it is collaborating with the NationalResource Laboratory and its National Wind Technology Center to validate theeconomics of a 10MW class superconductor wind turbine.

China WindSystems, Inc. (CWSI.OB) announced that it has begun producing forged productsat its new facility in Wuxi City after successfully completing equipment testruns. Management said provided an update on expected orders from Wuxi Lida andGansu Keyao for 1,350 tons of rolled rings and 3,300 tons of wind towerflanges, indicating it begins to begin shipping orders soon.

Dow Corning ispurchasing more than 14,000MWh of wind energy through Consumers Energy’s GreenGeneration program, in Michigan. The wind energy is coming from John DeereRenewable Energy’s Michigan Wind Park.



IberdrolaRenovables (IBR.MC) reported earnings of €390.2 million and EBITDA of €1.18 billion,both slightly under expectations of €405.4 million and €1.221 billion,respectively. Installed capacity for 2008 grew 31%. Management guided for FY09net profit and EBITDA growth of more than 30%, and 1,200MW to 1,400MW ofturbine installs.

REpower said itis maintaining its outlook for FY09/10 with 30% to 35% sales growth on a Y/Ybasis despite concerns about project delays. Its FY08/09 sales target is €1.1billion.

Vestas (VWS.DE)reported a 24% Y/Y increase in FY08 sales to €6.04 billion and a 51% increasein EBIT to €688 million. Management reiterated its forecast for 2009 sales of€7.2 billion and EBIT margin of 11% to 13%. Order backlog as of December 31 was€5.2 billion.

Zoltec(Nasdaq:ZOLT) reported a 3.6% decline in Q1 revenue to $38.6 million on a Y/Ybasis and net income of $0.5 million, compared to net income of $2.6 millionfor the same period last year. Inventories increased to $53.2 million atDecember 31, 2008 from $45.7 million the prior quarter.

State and Federal Driven News

The Senateapproved stimulus package includes a $7 billion renewable energy loan guaranteeprogram  ($1 billion less than theHouse version), a 3-year extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC),an additional year of bonus depreciation for 2009, elimination of cost caps forsmall wind investment tax credit and targeted provisions to help incentconstruction of new transmission lines to deliver electricity generated fromrenewable energy sources. The bill also includes $4.4 billion for smart-gridtechnologies.

In Minnesota,the Senate Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications Committeeunanimously approved a bill requiring an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.The state has a goal of reducing emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2015.

Bills Introducedand Passed

Senator TomUdall of New Mexico  - S. 433 -  A bill to amend the Public UtilityRegulatory Policies Act of 1978 to establish a renewable electricity standard,and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The House ofRepresentatives passed H.R. 631 and H.R. 469  - targeted at supporting technology development, efficiencyand conservation in an effort to stem the water shortages.

Finance and M&A

Ant GlobalPartners is raising $250 million for a clean tech fund over the next threeyears that will focus on water treatment and renewable projects in Indonesia.Its goal is to raise $50 million by June and complete a $100 million funding byyear end.

PB Hub reported that Sierra Solar Inc. is set to close a $40 million Series B round later this month.

Valero is buyingfive ethanol plants from VeraSun for $280 million.

SolFocus raised$47.5 million, and is reportedly raising up to $60 to $70 million in its mostrecent round led by Apex Venture Partners, and participation from NewEnterprise Associates and NGEN Partners.

C12 Energy Inc. raised $4.5million in VC funding, from investors including Sequoia Capital. .

The QuercusTrust is cancelling warrants to purchase 38 million shares of EntechSolar’s  (ENSL.OB) stock inconsideration for Entech’s agreement to increase the number of shares availableunder its 1999 Stock Option Plan from 50 million to 70 million shares. Quercustrustee David Gelbaum said the move is intended to improve company morale.

Premier Power(PPRW.OB) has filed an amended S1 after CFO Teresa Kelley restated thecompany’s financials to the upside.

Upgrades & Downgrades

February 9, 2009– Solarfun (Nasdaq:SOLF) initiated at UNDERWEIGHT at Barclays Capital withprice target of $3.50.

February 9, 2009– China Sunergy (Nasdaq:CSUN) initiated at EQUAL WEIGHT at Barclays Capital

February 9, 2009– Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) initiated at EQUAL WEIGHT at Barclays Capital

February 9, 2009– ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) initiated at EQUAL WEIGHT at Barclays Capital

February 9, 2009– LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) initiated at EQUAL WEIGHT at Barclays Capital

February 9, 2009– Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) initiated at OVERWEIGHT at Barclays Capitalwith price target of $12.

February 9, 2009– Ballard Power (Nasdaq:BLDP) rated ACCUMULATE with a price target of $2.75.

February 9, 2009– Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) profit estimates cut at Pacific Crest Securities by BenSchuman to $3.43 per share for FY09 from $3.63 per share on technical delays(software issues) resulting in a slowdown for Advanced Metering Infrastructureinstallations for SDG&E to about 200,000 meters. Schuman’s estimate hadbeen for installations of 600,000 meters.

February 9, 2009– Energy Conversion (Nasdaq:ENER) downgraded to HOLD at Wedbush Morgan withprice target of $29, raised from $24. Wedbush had previously rated ENER at BUYwith a price target of $62 (10/7/08).

February 10,2009 – Energy Conversion (Nasdaq:ENER) upgraded to BUY at Janco Partners with aprice target of $35. Janco had previously rated ENER at ACCUMULATE with a $45price target, HOLD with a $72 price target (9/2/08) and a $70 price target(6/18/08)

February 10,2009 – Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq:MXWL) upgraded to BUY at Stanford Researchwith a price target of $11. Stanford had previously rated MXWL at HOLD with a$12 price target, and a $16 price target (10/2/08).

February 10,2009 – Energy Conversion (Nasdaq:ENER) upgraded to BUY at Ardour Capital with a$34 price target. Ardour had previously rated ENER at HOLD with a $45 pricetarget (11/11/08), a $68 price target (8/29/08), and a $60 price target(6/4/08).

February 10,2009 – Energy Conversion (Nasdaq: ENER) upgraded to BUY at Piper Jaffray with a$33 price target, on estimates of $2.33 per share in earnings for 2009 and$2.95 per share in earnings for 2010. Piper had previously rated ENER at HOLDwith a $73 price target (8/29/08)

February 10,2009 – Energy Conversion (Nasdaq:ENER) rated BUY at AmTech Research with $48price target, raised from $45. AmTech previously rated ENER at BUY with a $59price target (10/10/08).

February 10,2009 – Energy Conversion (Nasdaq:ENER) rated BUY at Jeffries with price targetof $37 lowered from $50. Jeffries had previously rated ENER at BUY with $96price target (8/29/08), and a $35 price target (3/7/08).

February 10,2009 – Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) upgraded to BUY at Merrill with $14.30 pricetarget.

February 10,2009 – JA Solar upgraded to NEUTRAL at Merrill with $3.80 price target.

February 10,2009 – Motech (6224.TWO) upgraded to NEUTRAL at Merrill with 99 Taiwan dollarsprice target.

February 10,2009 – Sino-American (5483.TWO) downgraded to Underperform at Merrill with 54Taiwan dollars price target.

February 11,2009 – Yingli (NYSE:YGE) rated BUY at Collins Stewart with a $10 price target.

February 11,2009 – Emcore (Nasdaq:EMKR) rated HOLD at Stanford Research. Stanfordpreviously rated EMKR at BUY with a target of $6 (11/10/08), and a $10 pricetarget (8/15/08).

February 12,2009, JA Solar (Nasdaq:JASO) rated OUTPERFORM at RBC Capital with price targetof $4. RBC had previously rated JASO at BUY with a price target of $5(11/13/08), a price target of $22 (7/16/08), a price target of $26 (5/13/08)and a price target of $21 (3/14/08).

February 12,2009 – JA Solar (Nasdaq:JASO) rated NEUTRAL at AmTech Research.

February 13,2009 – MEMC (NYSE:WFR) upgraded to BUY at UBS. UBS had previously rated WFR atNEUTRAL (1/20/09), at BUY with a price target of $20 (12/18/08), a price targetof $60 (7/24/08) and $105 (12/20/07).

February 13,2009 – Ultralife (Nasdaq:ULBI) rated at ACCUMULATE at Ardour Capital with pricetarget of $11, lowered from $15.

February 13,2009 – Ultralife (Nasdaq: ULBI) rated SECTOR PERFORM at RBC with price targetof $11, lowered from $13.

February 13,2009 – Q-Cells (QCEG.DE) rated REDUCE at Commerzbank and its price target wascut to €17 from €20. Commerzbank cited channel checks which showed ASPs werebelow Q1 estimates, and a negative read across peers including JA Solar.

Research & Reports

Light-DutyDiesel Vehicles: Market Issues and Potential Energy and Emissions Impacts

This report responds to a request fromSenator Jeff Sessions for an analysis of the environmental and energyefficiency attributes of light-duty diesel vehicles.1 Specifically, the inquiryasked for a comparison of the characteristics of diesel-fueled vehicles with thoseof similar gasoline-fueled, E85-fueled,2 and hybrid vehicles, as well as adiscussion of any technical, economic, regulatory, or other obstacles toincreasing the use of diesel-fueled vehicles in the United States.

90-BillionGallon Biofuel Deployment Study

Sandia National Laboratories and GeneralMotors’ R&D Center conducted a joint biofuels systems analysis project fromMarch to November 2008. Known as the “90- Billion Gallon BiofuelDeployment Study,” the purpose of the project was to assess the feasibility,implications, limitations, and enablers of large-scale production of biofuelsin the United States. This study concludes that 90billion gallons per year of biomass-derived ethanol can be produced anddistributed with enduring government commitment and continued technologicalprogress. Specifically, the model projects that 90 billion gallons of ethanol canbe produced per year in the U.S.: 15 billion gallons per year from cornethanol, with the balance from cellulosic ethanol.






Aspire Indices Performance for the Week Ended February 13, 2009

Stocks endedtheir worst week since November as concerns mounted over the stimulus plan,while crude oil prices have fallen five of the last six weeks with tradersrecalibrating on expectations of slowing demand amidst further erosion in theglobal economy. Against this backdrop, alt energy and clean tech stocksstruggled as well, as the constant beat continued with concerns about projectdelays, less legislative support, tight credit market, declining ASPs, moduleand poly  oversupply and cashconstraints continue to pressure – never mind the fact that countries aroundthe world are painting their own New Green Deals, that commitments toaddressing climate change have never been better, that declining prices may bea good thing because there will be a tipping point which moves in the favor ofvolume demand made possible by lower prices and less dependent on subsidy, andnever mind that technology efficiencies are also going to pick up much of thisslack.

Sure, there arereasons to be concerned when you look at JA Solar’s challenges of getting itsforecasts right. But there is so much long-term growth locked into solar, wind,geothermal, energy efficiency, biofuels and biomass, and carbon reductiontechnologies that we find it startling that leaders in these industriescontinue to be so heavily discounted – setting First Solar aside.



Upcoming Events

February 16-17:
JatrophaWorld Asia 2009
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact:Tan Lee Lin(Miss)
Phone: +65 63469146
Fax: +65 63455928

February 19-20:
3rd Thermal Power India2009
New Delhi, India
Contact:Priya Kapoor/ Amit Sharma
Phone: 91- 124- 320 1521/ 407 0942/ 407 1610
Fax: 91- 124- 407 3946
E-mail: / /

February 23-25:
14th Annual NationalEthanol Conference: Policy & Marketing
Henry B. GonzalezConvention Center, San Antonio, TX
Contact:Mary Giglio
Phone: (908) 233-5863

February 23-25:
Cleantech Forum XXI-Upside Driver in a Downside Market
Fairmont Hotel, SanFrancisco, CA
Contact:Cleantech Group, LLC
Phone: +810 224 4310

February 25-27:
Renewable EnergyTechnology Conference and Exposition (RETECH)
Las Vegas ConventionCenter, Las Vegas, NV
Contact:Tom Weirich
Phone: (202) 393-0001
Fax: (202) 393.0606

February 25–27:
World Sustainable EnergyDays 2009
Stadthalle Wels, Austria
Contact:O.Ö. Energiesparverband
Phone: +43/732/7720-14386
Fax: +43/732/7720-14383

February 26–27:
3rd Annual Global CO2Cap And Trade Forum
The Fairmont San Jose, SanJose, CA
Contact:Dr. Victor Pogostin
Phone:416-777-2020 ext. 6178; TollFree: 1-866-456-2020 ext.6178
Fax: 416-777-1292; 1-866-777-1292


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About Aspire Clean Tech Communications, Inc.

Based in SanDiego, Aspire Clean Tech Communications is dedicated to providing strategicconsulting and communications services to businesses operating in thealternative energy and clean tech industries. Our commentary and outlook on thepublic markets and the alternative energy can be found on a daily basis at

For moreinformation about Aspire Clean Tech Communications, Inc., contact Todd M.Pitcher at 858-518-1387.

This Aspire Weekin Review was sponsored by ComancheClean Energy, Inc., a leading Brazilian ethanol and biofuel firm bringingthe lowest cost and most efficient alternative energy solutions to the world,and Hayden Communications, Inc., Wall Street’s leading corporate communicationsfirm. For more information about Hayden Communications, call 646-536-7331, formore information about Comanche Clean Energy, or Power Efficiency; contact ToddM. Pitcher at 760-798-4938.

The Aspire Weekin Review is brought to you by Small CapPulse the best source on the web for financial and economic commentary,stock analysis, and a fresh idea. To learn more about Small Cap Pulse, call858-518-1387.




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