Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended February 20, 2009

Feb 23, 2009
Author: Administrator

Another dismalweek in the books, with the broader markets selling off again amidst mountingconcerns that Washington may be in over its head in trying to stem the negativeinfluences on the economy and doubts about whether the stimulus plan will dothe trick. It is increasingly looking like nationalization of at some banks maybe on tap. The White House insists this is not the case - but it may not have achoice.

The DJIA fell479.96 this week, or 6.1%. On the year to date, the DJIA is down 1,406.58, or16%. With expectations that unemployment is going to keep rising, companiesreigning in the cash reserves and shelving any plans for expansion and growth,and no indication that the credit markets are loosening up, a second halfturnaround looks all but unlikely. The alt energy and clean tech sectors aren'timmune to the multiple compression occurring in the broader markets (seeindices below for further detail):

  •        Biofuels group was down 14% this week,
  •        Energy management and efficiency was down 1% this week,
  •        Energy storage group was down 7% this week,
  •        Geothermal group was down 10% this week,
  •        Upstream solar group was down 12% this week,

Midstream solar group was down 11%,

  •        Downstream solar group was down 12%,
  •        Solar equipment group was down 9%, and the
  •        Wind group was down 9%,

Our outlook for the economy is borderline apocalyptic. We have this massiveconsumer infrastructure that has to get unwound and an economy that has come todepend on consumer spending as its lifeline.

Consumersrepresent more than 70% of GDP. This is a problem. This is the problem. And noone is talking about it. Our GDP is too big for consumers to be able to sustainthis much of it. Just look at the fact that consumer savings, which used torange around 7% to 8% have fallen into negative territory for the past fewyears. This is not sustainable. The current meltdown is helping to prove thatout. And now consumers are faced with increasing employment risk and joblosses, and on the horizon, we are predicting that the impact of the massivedebt being piled onto the national balance sheet will suck the value out of theremaining dollars in their pocketbooks. We will only mention here that there is$40 trillion in unfunded liabilities (Social Security and Medicare that arestill looming).




And exports onlyrepresent 12% or so of GDP. This is a problem. The fact that we rely onconsumption for 70% of our GDP and production exports for only 12% is aneconomic framework that is not sustainable - unless we keep borrowing fromChina and Japan and leveraging our own financial infrastructure. But that shiphas sailed. We have no more financial infrastructure to leverage. So now we areleveraging the Treasury and this ultimately will put our ability to borrow fromthe likes of China and Japan in jeopardy, not to mention the devaluing impactit will have on our currency.

You would thinksomeone would be talking about this toxic imbalance which has tipped ourcountry into a consumptive dependence and gutted our productive infrastructure.But no one is talking about that. The gurus and economists, the politicians andpundits are all just talking about how they can get spending and lending backon track. That is just what commerce is right? Sure, but the missing componentin our economy for far too long has been savings and any mention of that.

We are hopefulthat one of the results the $79 billion or so in stimulus funds heading intothe alt energy and clean tech is some development of core manufacturing andproduction infrastructure in the alt energy and clean tech markets which giveus a shot, as a nation to shore up our employment markets and if that is goingto be a long-term theme, it will have to result in creating enough demandoverseas for what we are building here to export it. While the timing is tough,given all of the attention being paid to oversupply in the solar modulemarkets, we were happy to see Spire (Nasdaq:SPIR) kicking off its "Coming toAmerica" program designed to promote and assist foreign PV module manufacturersto build here. If we are right about our bearishness on the dollar, this willbecome an increasingly attractive strategy. Interestingly, Spire's stock buckedthe trend this week, closing up 19%.

We have beencommenting in recent weeks about the general strategy countries around theworld have been taking in addressing their respective recessing economies.Besides bailing out their respective banks on one level or another, governmentshave been preparing massive amounts of investment into infrastructure with alot of discussion about developing "green" workforces and addressing climatechange at the same time.

This strategywas endorsed again this week at the U.S., calling on developed nations to adopt"Green New Deals" that would focus stimulative efforts on the environment andclimate change. In particular, the recommendation is for developed nations tocommit at least 1% of GDP over the next two years into cutting emissions.

Utilities Adding Renewable Energy

Consumers Energyfiled its renewable energy and energy efficiency plans with the Michigan PublicService Commission this week, which will help it meet requirements ofMichigan's renewable energy legislation, PA 295 (the Clean, Renewable andEnergy Efficiency Act of 2008). Under the mandate, Consumers Energy needs toincrease the amount of renewable energy it supplies to customers to 10% by2015, an increase from 4% at present. The company said in its announcement thatit will need an additional 900MW of renewable energy by 2017, with a focus onwind energy investment.

  •        Coal currently represents 58.3% of Consumers energy electricity generation, while nuclear represents 23.3% and gas represents 16.4%. This leaves the remaining 2% coming from renewables.

Rocky Mountain Power is increasing the billing credit for households and smallbusinesses that are generating power from solar panels and other renewablesources. It is also increasing the amount of energy it is willing to take fromcustomers to as much as 923MW.




Biofuels and Biomass

Tom Vilsack metwith the EPA this week to discuss the raise in the percentage of ethanol blendin gas in the U.S. market, which would be aimed at helping out the domesticcorn-based ethanol industry. The USDA estimates that about 29.8% of U.S. cornsupply in 2008/2009 will be used in ethanol production in the U.S.

It has beenover-reported this week, but it is just idiotic enough to print again - SheikMohamed al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy said usingethanol, or any other alcohol based fuels is sinful.

Net GenerationBiofuels (Nasdaq:NGBF) announced completion of its first commercial-scaleproduction facility in Baltimore, which has a nominal capacity of 5 milliongallons per year, and can be expanded to 50 million gallons per year. It saidit has current sales agreements with Dynegy to supply up to 1.7 million gallonsper year of biofuel and with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the TauntonState Hospital to supply up to 220,000 gallons per year.

NextStepBiofuels signed a multi-year feedstock (corn stover) supply agreement withEnergy Grains Biomass which is reportedly enough for a 40 million gallon peryear plant. Novozymes said that if U.S. oil rebounds to $80 to $120 per barrel,cellulosic ethanol could be profitable without government subsidy.

Vereniumannounced a 50/50 JV with British Petroleum to develop and commercializecellulosic ethanol. This is the second phase of the Verenium/BP partnership,and the JV will act as the commercial arm for the distribution of thecompanies' technology being developed. The companies are collectivelycommitting $45 million to the JV, which will build a 36 million gallon-per-yearcellulosic ethanol facility in Florida at a total cost of about $250 to $300million. Production from the plant is slotted to begin in 2012. Verenium'sstock lost 8% in value this week.

Bankruptcy andDefaults

Pacific Ethanol(Nasdaq:PEIX) said it has entered into forbearance agreements to negotiate newterms with lenders which would provide that they refrain exercise of rights andremedies through February 27, 2009, in reference to certain loan covenantdefaults. Lenders include Wachovia Capital Corporation and WestLB Ag.

Otter Tail AgEnterprises has defaulted on a $31 million master loan agreement with AgstarFinancial Services, and has failed to pay interest due on its construction andterm loan with MMCDC New Markets Fund, which is about $19.2 million.

The U.S.Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of Greater Ohio Ethanol in Lima, Ohio, toPaladin Capital Group, which intends to re-open the facility and operate it.


China Bio Energy's(Nasdaq:CBEH.OB) management provided an update this week, saying it isconfident about its 2009 outlook as fuel consumption in China continues toincrease, largely driven by the fact that China is fast becoming the world'slargest automotive market. The company will increasingly focus on biodieselproduction, expanding from current production capacity of 100,000 tons to150,000 tons, which will require about $15 million in cap ex. It expects toreport 2008 revenues of $211 million and net income of $28.5 million, increasesof 142% and 231% respectively. We think the stock looks cheap.


Datagro reportedthis week that the decline in India's sugar production will likely encourageBrazilian ethanol exports to it, with 300 to 500 million liters expected to beshipped to India in 2009. India has a 10% ethanol blending mandate which startsin 2010. It also said that sales of flex fuel vehicles in the first two weeksof February grew 16.8% over the first half of Jan/09.

Petrobras andthe Ministry of Mines and Energy are discussing the possibility of reducing theprice of gasoline at some point later this year. While ethanol plants, many ofwhich whom are cash strapped are selling off supplies which has resulted indownward pressure on ethanol prices for anhydrous and hydrous ethanol in thestate of São Paulo by 1.35% and 4.21%, respectively, since the beginning ofFebruary.

Braskem signed acontract with Sojitz to supply 120,000 tons of ETBE in the next three years.The fuel is composed of 43% ethanol and 57% isobutene. Japan has establishedthat 3% ethanol should be mixed into gasoline, which is obligatory beginning in2010. The Japanese oil ministry has stated it wants to consume 840,000 cubicmeters per year of EBTE.

Clean Tech, Carbon Reduction and Climate Change

A unanimous 140country agreement was reached at the U.N. to begin talks on a legally bindingtreaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide. Formal negotiations won't startuntil next year though, and they aren't expected to conclude until 2013.

The Midwest GeologicalSequestration Consortium has begun drilling the injection well for theirlarge-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) injection test in Decatur,Illinois. The large-scale project will capture CO2 from the ArcherDaniels Midland Ethanol Production Facility in Decatur, Ill., and inject it ina deep saline formation more than a mile underground. Starting in early 2010,up to one million metric tonnes of CO2 from the ADM ethanolfacility will be compressed to a liquid-like d

AgaveBioSystems, Inc. has been awarded $70,000 in funding from the EnvironmentalProtection Agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program todevelop a new enzyme engineering system used to remediate contaminatedproperties. The bioremediation system will require enzymes and the fabricationof functionalized magnetic nanoparticles to improve the catalytic degradationof chemical agents such as pesticides.

The UnitedStates has filed a complaint against Louisiana Generating alleging that thecompany violated the Clean Air Act by operating the Big Cajun 2 Power Plant, acoal-fired power plant in New Roads, Louisiana, without also installing andoperating modern pollution control equipment after the generating units hadundergone major modificationsense phase and injected over a three-year period.The suit is asking for civil penalties of $27,500 to $37,500 per day.

E.ON and Siemensare building a CCS pilot plant, leveraging Siemens'post-combustion-capture,  which isset to start operations this summer at E.ON's Staudinger power station.

Energy Efficiency and Management

The EnergyFuture Coalition, and 30 businesses including Intel and Mesa Power unveiled policy recommendations forCongress and the Obama administration for the development of the smart grid.

Comverge(Nasdaq:COMV) was selected by BP Solar to develop data and deployment solutionsbased on its Apollo®  technologyplatform. Under the agreement, Comverge will integrate its advanced meteringinfrastructure (AMI) developing interfaces that provide solar production andother system information. BP Solar will also be able to integrate demandresponse using ZigBee® enabled intelligent thermostat and digital controlunits. Comverge also announced this week that it has delivered its fivemillionth demand management device. Despite the positive developments,Comverge's stock shed 12% this week.




EnerNOC(Nasdaq:ENOC) reported a Q4 loss of $12.2 million, or $0.61 per share onrevenue of $19.7 million. Expectations were for a loss of $0.66 per share on$18.7 million in revenue. Management said the company increased MW undermanagement by about 500 during the quarter, bringing total MW under managementto more than 2,500. For the year, it lost $36.7 million, or $1.88 per share,compared with a loss of $23.6 million, or $1.80 per share in 2007. Revenueincreased 74% for the year to $106.1 million. Management expects positive cashflow from operations in the second half of 2009 with a loss of $1 to $1.20 pershare on revenue of $155 to $170 million and a profit in 2010.

Itron(Nasdaq:ITRI) reported Q4 revenues of $432 million (down10% Y/Y), with EBITDAof $60 million and net income of $4.3 million (up 7% Y/Y), or $0.12 per share.For the year, it reported revenues of $1.9 billion (up 30% Y/Y), EBITDA of $281million and net income of $28.1 million, or $0.80 per share. For the FY07, itlost $16.1 million, or $0.55 per share. Its new order bookings for 2008 were$2.5 billion, compared with $1.4 billion in 2007. Total backlog at December 31,2008 was $1.3 billion. For FY09, management expects revenues between $1.78 and$1.88 billion and for the Q1, it is looking for revenue between $385 and $415million. 

Energy Storage

We were talkingwith Jeff Janda, who runs a developing mining business, this week and he madesome interesting observations about lithium supplies, noting that as the EV andPHEV markets begin to take root there will be increasing demand on a limitedsupply of lithium. He noted that there is a substantial opportunity in the develop these resources, which goes to our belief that the U.S. should beinvesting in the production and development of resources and technologies thatcan be exported, as well as leveraged in the new energy economy.

Interestingly,the Council on Hemispheric Affairs published an article on Thursday on thissubject - the future of lithium in the world economy, and Bolivia's currentpositioning (it contains half of the world's reserve of lithium). We highlyrecommend reading it.

Ballore, whichhas developed a lithium battery that can power an EV at a speed of up to125km/h with a range of 250km, is submitting a plan to develop Bolivia's LakeUyuni lithium deposit. Bolivia's President Evo Morales said the country willinvest as much as $200 million to develop its lithium deposits.

Electrovaya's(EFL.TO) May 300, a lithium-ion powered EV is going to hit the markets thissummer. Electrovaya will offer two types of batteries, a 12kWh unit with arange of 80km and an 18kWh battery with a maximum range of 120km. Both will bechargeable at a standard 110-volt power outlet, and a full charge will take 8to 10 hours.

Fuel Cell(Nasdaq:FCEL) announced the sale of a 300kW DFC300 power plant which willsupply base load energy to the U.S. Marine Corps Ground Combat Centre at 29Palms, California. The company also announced this week that the ConnecticutDepartment of Public Utility Control has issued a draft decision approving6.6MW of projects incorporating its technology with the final decision to bemade later this month. The company's stock fell 15% this week despite thepositive developments.

China announcedcash rebates of up to 600,000 yuan ($87,719) to buyers of alternative energypassenger cars and buses in 13 major cities. The program provides a rebate foras little as 50,000 yuan for small hybrid passenger cars and 600,000 yuan forlarge fuel cell powered commercial buses.

The Lithium-ionBattery Material S&T Innovation Center of Jilin Province said this weekthat 70 electric buses with double the maximum range of conventional EVs willhit the road in June. The buses will have a range of more than 300km on a20-minute battery recharge, they say.




Ballard Power's(Nasdaq:BLDP) CEO said this week that he expects a 15% to 30% increase inrevenue in 2009 to a range of $68 and $78 million on a 100% increase inshipments Y/Y to 4,000 units. He expects gross margins between 25% and 35% anda reduction in cash burn. One of the primary catalysts for the expected growthis for a back-up power supply contract for wireless base stations in India,which could expand the initial $25 million contract to as much as $75 million.

MaxwellTechnologies (Nasdaq:MXWL) reported $23.5 million in revenue for the Q4(increase of 39% Y/Y) and net income of $1.4 million (increase of 27% Y/Y), or$0.07 per diluted share. The company's BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitor revenueincreased by 69% to $9 million of the quarter. Gross margin for the quarterjumped to 41% from 29% for the same period last year. For the year, revenueincreased to $82.2 million from $57.4 million last year while the company lost$15 million, down from a loss of $15.7 million last year.


EVs, Hybrids and PHEVs

San Franciscoannounced three new EV charging stations at City Hall this week which will beavailable to City CarShare and ZipCar vehicles, and the PHEVs that are part ofthe city's municipal fleet. Coulomb Technologies is providing theinfrastructure, and further build-out in the Bay Area is being done inpartnership with Shai Agassi's Better Place, which plans to invest $1 billionin EV infrastructure over coming years.

Honda Motor Co.said demand for its Insight is surging in Japan with orders surpassing itstarget of 5,000 in just over a week, after launching in showrooms in Japan onFebruary 6. The Insight sells for $21,000 while the Prius, which accounted for285,700 units sold in 2008, sells for $22,000.

Nissan said thisweek that its planned EV which will hit the markets late in 2010 will have 100miles of battery range. While Ford said it has received $55 million in taxincentives (under the Michigan Advanced Battery Credits Initiative) from theState of Michigan to continue working on advanced battery and EV development.

In China, CheryAutomobile unveiled a PHEV which it says can run up to 154 kilometers (94miles) and can be fully charged in at a home electrical outlet in 4 to 6 hours.


The FederalEnergy Regulatory Commission issued a relicense order Feb. 19 for continuedoperation of the 865.76-MW Rocky Reach hydroelectric project on themid-Columbia River in Washington.

Brazil'snational development bank has approved 7.2 billion reais (US$3 billion) infinancing for construction of the 3,300-MW Jirau hydroelectric project onBrazil's Madeira River.

Finland-basedutility Fortum and Swedish wave generator developer Seabased Industries haveapplied for government support to develop a 10-MW wave energy project off thewest coast of Sweden.

Israel waveenergy developer SDE Energy Ltd. has agreed to supply wave power plants toChina, with the first installation planned off Guangdong Province in southernChina.

Voith Hydro andRWE Innogy announced February 20 the formation of Voith Hydro Ocean CurrentTechnologies to develop ocean current power technologies and projects.





Cowen's RobStone outline four key aspects of the stimulus bill that will be good for PV:(1) loan guarantees and other financing assistance; (2) grants in lieu ofinvestment tax credits; (3) funding for federal, state and local projects thatmay include PV; and (4) transmission power to support renewable powergeneration. He expects that project funding will be a catalyst for as much as 1to 1.5GW of PV projects while pointing out, GSA estimates that 75% ofanticipated projects to green buildings based on $4.5 billion in funding willhas a solar component, and the DOE program should support up to $60 billion inloan guarantees for renewable projects, amongst other things.

And Lux Researchissueda statement that available capacity of solar cells and moduleswill be twice the demand in 2009 and that the overall market may contract fromlast year's $36 billion (at 5.5GW) to $29 billion (5.3GW) this year. Findingsfrom the report are that:

  •        Cell and module capacity will overshoot demand by twofold in 2009 to reach 10.4GW, precipitating a shakeout that will eliminate all but the top players.
  •        Silicon availability will become increasingly irrelevant as module firms cut inventory.
  •        Price reductions will flatten out by 2011, brining solar closer to grid parity and enabling the market to grow to $70 billion (18.5GW by 2013).
  •        Thin film technologies will continue to grow aggressively.
  •        The Spanish market will dwindle. Germany will be Europe's buyer of last resort. And the U.S. market will depend on government stimulus.

Researchersfrom the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said theinstalled costs of PV in the U.S. declined from $10.5/W in 1998 to $7.6/W in2007. This equates to an average annual reduction of $0.3/W, or 3.5%/yr in realdollars. The report stated further that the decline in total average PVinstalled costs since 1998 appears to be primarily attributable to a drop in non-modulecosts, which fell from approximately $5.7/W in 1998

to $3.6/W in2007, a reduction of $2.1/W (or 73% of the $2.9/W drop in total installed costsof this period). In comparison, module index prices dropped by only $0.8/W from1998-2007, and increased somewhat from 2003-2007.13 As with the trend in totalinstalled costs, however, average non-module costs remained relatively stablefrom 2005-2007.

PV Tech reportedthis week that both Applied Materials (Nasdaq:AMAT) and Oerlikon (OERL.VX) saythin-film customers are ramping production.

Kyocera(NYSE:KYO) is targeting an April start for production on its new modulemanufacturing plant in Tianjin City, China, which is part of the company'splans to expand production to 650MW by March, 2012.

Solarworld(SWVG.DE) said it isn't interested in purchasing GM's Opel German plantsanymore. The acquisition was never well received by the Street, and reallydidn't make a lot of strategic sense for the company anyway.


ET Solar andPremier Power (OTCBB:PPRW) announced the completion of a 1MW solar system whichincludes 89 solar trackers. The system was designed and installed by Premierand is owned and operated by Solar Power Partners.

Spire(Nasdaq:SPIR) launched a "Coming to America" program this week designed topromote and support foreign manufactures of PV modules to establish operationsin the U.S.

SunPower(Nasdaq:SPWRA) completed a 305kw roof-mounted system at the Crowne Plaza Hotelin Alice Springs, Australia. The project was financed by the Department of theEnvironment, Water, Heritage and Arts. It also announced it has signed anagreement with Sunshire S.r.l. to design and build a 2.2MW facility inTolentino, Italy. The project, which is the first phase of a 7.1MWdevelopment,  is being financed byregional banks through a leasing agreement. SunPower also announced completionof a 2.2MW system on three sites in Lake County, California. GE EnergyFinancial Services in partnership with SunPower, financed and owns the systemand associated renewable energy credits. Through a SunPower AccessTM PPA thepartnership will sell electricity to the County and the Lake County SanitationDistrict. SunPower's stock fell 11% this week.

Xantrex signed adeal to provide BP Solar with inverters to complete BPs offering to dealersthroughout North America.


Canadian Solar(Nasdaq:CSIQ) cut its 2009 shipment outlook to a range of 300 to 350MW from arange of 500 to 550MW and said it expects negative gross margin in the Q4,citing a weak euro, decline in module pricing and an inventory revaluationprovision. For Q4, management expects revenue in a range of $66 to $71 million.

LDK Solar(NYSE:LDK) said it expects Q4 revenue of $415 to $425 million - down fromprevious revenue guidance of $425 million to $435 million, with wafer shipmentsof $245MW to $255MW. It is also going to take an inventory writedown of $210 to$220 million due to the rapid downward pressure on wafer prices, which willresult in a loss of $135 to $145 million for the quarter. For the year, it isnow expecting revenue of $1.63 to $1.64 billion, with wafer shipments of 810MWto 820MW and a net profit of $145 to $155 million. It is delaying its wafercapacity expansion by a quarter and expects year-end capacity at 2GW, down from2.3GW. With respect to its poly production expansion plans, it is delaying theinstallation of a third 5,000 ton train, and will increase production at itssmall poly plant to 2,000MT from 1,000MT by the end of 2009. Combinedproduction by the end of the year will be 12,000MT, below its previous forecastof 16,000MT.

Renewable EnergyCorp (REC.OL) reported Q4 EBITDA of 936 million Norwegian crowns ($134 million).Broken down into segments, silicon EBITDA was 523 million crowns on operatingrevenue of 1,021 million crowns; wafer EBITDA was 419 million crowns onoperating revenue of 1,483 million crowns; and solar EBITDA was 30 millioncrowns on operating revenue of 705 million crowns. On an annual basis, RECposted Y/Y revenue growth of 23% to 8,191 million crowns and Y/Y EBTIDA growthof 3% to 3,279 million crowns. Management reduced its 2009 poly productionguidance to a range of 10,000-11,000 tons from previous guidance of 11,500tons, and said Q1 will be weaker than the same period last year.

Trina Solar(NYSE:TSL) said it expects Q4 revenues to exceed previous guidance range of$190-$210 million, for positive cash flow to be about $60 million and to have reducedshort-term debt by about $41 million to $249 million. Due to a non-cashinventory provision it expects between $16 to $18 million, which will have anegative impact on gross margin of 7% to 8% it expects to show gross margin inthe range of 9% to 10%, compared to previous guidance of 13% to 15%.


The BonnevillePower Administration is going to build a $246 million transmission projectwhich will allow transmission of more than 870MW of energy, including more than700MW of wind energy, to serve about 600,000 homes in Oregon.

State Grid Corp., China's biggest utility, saidit began operation in January of a 1 million-volt commercial power line, whichis much more powerful than the 765,000-volt systems used in the United Statesand elsewhere. Experts say this kind of system could find a market as theUnited States and others expand use of solar, wind and hydropower.


Water & Sustainability

The U.S. Bureauof Reclamation said it is going to cut off water on a temporary, and perhapspermanent basis, to some of California's farms as a consequence of the state'scurrent drought. Initially the stoppage will be for a two-week period startingon March 1.


Goldman Sachs said this weekthat it continues to prefer the wind energy industry in Europe over the solarindustry, citing the industry's maturity, scalability and economics ofelectricity generation.

AAER Inc. (TSX-V: AAE) signed an agreement forthe sale of a 1.65 MW wind turbine to Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

Navajo WindEnergy said it has secured a site for a 200MW wind energy project that iscapable of generating net operating capacity of more than 50% - which seemsaggressive to us.

Renewable EnergyCorporation (REC.OL) and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc are jointventuring on a 60MW wind power project in Thailand's Phetchabun province.Construction will start by October and is expected to finish by 2011 withenergy being sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

VEC Technology,92% owned by Genmar Holdings, said it is entering the wind energy blade market,claiming it has developed a better process for manufacturing composite windblades which will alleviate issues of cracking and non-performance amongstexisting blades.

The GSMA isworking with Dialog Telekom to deploy ten solar and wind-powered base stationsin Sri Lanka - five off-grid and five on-grid. Two of the sites have gone liveand eight more will go live in March and April. The purpose of the trial is totest the range of options available and the commercial viability of rolling outmobile networks using renewable sources of energy. Digicel has completed thesecond phase of its ‘green power network' in Vanuatu, carrying more than 60% ofits network traffic on base stations powered by wind and solar.

BMW Manufacturing Company has begun a studyinto the feasibility of using wind energy on its plant site in Spartanburg,S.C. It is partnering with Gold Ring Power, LLC to conduct an energy audit togather data on wind speed and patterns throughout the site. The results of thetest will reveal the viability for BMW to add wind to the list of alternativeenergy resources used to power the facility.


Chevronannounced plans this week to invest $20 million over 5 years into a partnershipwith Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha to build a center focused onrenewable power and energy efficiency development. In the most recent quarter,Chevron announced net profit of $4.9 billion, with income for the year at$23.93 billion. Meanwhile, last December it received a master contract from theDOE for energy projects aimed at efficiency, water consumption reduction and anincrease in renewable energy. The Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC)has a minimum five year term with a maximum contract value of $5 billion.

DOE Watch

The U.S.Department of Energy issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA),contingent on FY09 appropriations, to provide up to $24 million for recipientsdeveloping technologies to simulate, track and evaluate the potential risks ofCO2 storage in geologic formations.

The DOE and theNorthwest Food Processors Association announced an industry-wide target ofreducing energy intensity by 25% over the next ten years.

State and Federal Driven News

Keeping with the overall toneof the Obama administration on her first overseas diplomatic mission Hilary Clintontold a Japanese audience that the U.S. and Japan should work with China onclean energy as it increases its industrialization to ‘leap-frog' the ramps incarbon emissions that typically come with industrialization.

China's foreignministry spokeswoman said China would like to work with the U.S. on this issue,which is a positive sign and a huge step forward from previous discussions.

And Harry Reidtold the Associated Press that he intends to push for Senate action on theclimate change issue by the end of summer. He favors a 20% renewable standardfor utilities, amongst other things.

In WestVirginia, Senate Bill 297 was passed which will mandate at least 10% ofelectricity sold will be generated by alt energy sources, rising to 25% by2025. Unsurprisingly, the bill includes clean coal, which is as mythical wethink as the unicorn.

M&A and Finance

Invenergy WindLLC raised $30 million from Leaf Clean Energy (LSE:LEAF.L).

groSolar ispurchasing the residential division of Borrego Solar (terms not disclosed),which will make groSolar the fourth largest residential solar integrator in theU.S. Borrego will now be focusing on the commercial and government sectors,which account for 75% of its 2008 revenue.

Acciona (ANA.MC) is selling a 25% stake in Endesa to EnelSpA for €8.2 billion euros ($10.31 billion) including 2,100MW of Endesa'srenewable generating assets worth €3.1 billion.

OasysWater, which a developed a water treatment technology called EngineeredOsmosis, has raised $10 million in a Series A round from Flagship Ventures,Advanced Technology Ventures, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Upgradesand Downgrades


February 17 -First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) rated HOLD with price target of $114 at Kaufman.Kaufman had previously rated FSLR at HOLD with price target of $140 (10/30/08)and $260 (5/28/08).

February 18 -First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) downgraded to HOLD at Wedbush Morgan with pricetarget of $125. Wedbush had previously rated FSLR at BUY with price target of$175 (10/24/08), and $350 (7/31/08).

February 19 -Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) upgraded to ACCUMULATE at Janco Partners. Janco hadpreviously rated ITRI at HOLD with a price target of $60.

February 19 -Itron (Nasdaq: ITRI) rated BUY at Lazard while price target lowered to $65 from$75.

February 19 -Suntech (NYSE:STP) reiterated at OUTPERFORM at Cowen & Company.

February 20 -First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) reiterated at OUTPERFORM at Pacific Crest with pricetarget of $364.

February 20 -First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) reiterated at OUTPERFORM at Cowen & Company.

February 20 -Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq:MXWL) upgraded to BUY at Roth Capital with a pricetarget of $12. Roth had previously rated MXWL at HOLD with a price target of$13 (2/7/08).

February 20 -LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) rated SELL at ThinkEquity with price target of $4.50.ThinkEquity previously rated LDK at a BUY with a price target of $45.

February 20 -REpower (RPWGn.DE) raised to BUY at Goldman Sachs.

February 20 -Manz Automation (M5ZG.DE) raised to BUY at Goldman Sachs with €85 price target.

February 20 - PVCrystalox (PVCS.L) raised to BUY at Goldman Sachs.

February 20 -Solarworld AG (SWVG.DE) raised to BUY at Goldman Sachs with €23 price target.

February 20 -Q-Cells (QCEG.DE) cut to SELL and added to CONVICTION SELL at Goldman Sachs.

February 20 -Q-Cells (QCEG.DE) rated SELL at ING with a price target of €15.6.

Research & Reports

Tracking theSun: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. from 1998-2007


As installations ofgrid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have grown, so too has thedesire to track the installed cost of these systems over time, by system characteristics,by system location, and by component. This report helps to fill this need bysummarizing trends in the installed cost of grid-connected PV systems in theUnited States from 1998 through 2007.1 The report is based on an analysis ofinstalled cost data from nearly 37,000 residential and non-residential PVsystems, totaling 363 MW of capacity, and representing 76% of allgrid-connected PV capacity installed in the U.S. through 2007.








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: MaryGiglio
Phone: (908)233-5863

February 23-25:
Cleantech Forum XXI-Upside Driver in a Downside Market
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco,CA
Contact: CleantechGroup, LLC
Phone: +810224 4310

February 25-27:
Renewable EnergyTechnology Conference and Exposition (RETECH)
Las Vegas ConventionCenter, Las Vegas, NV
Contact: TomWeirich
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: 416-777-2020ext. 6178; Toll Free: 1-866-456-2020 ext.6178
Fax: 416-777-1292;1-866-777-1292

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