Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended February 6, 2009

Feb 10, 2009
Author: Administrator


Obama's stimulusbill being debated in Congress includes more than $50 billion in energy-relatedgrants aimed at supporting alternative energy development, and reduction inenergy consumption. Both the House and Senate versions include $4.3 billion intax breaks for residential energy-efficiency improvements, $300 million forstates as matching grants to promote utility-sponsored rebates for energyefficient appliances, and a credit of 30% of the cost of equipment with amaximum for a household of $1,500 - provided energy efficiency standards aremet. The stimulus bill would also remove the $2,000 and $4,000 caps on the taxcredit for solar and wind, respectively.

It has beenimpressive in the first weeks of the Obama administration to see a tone beingset which is a clear follow-through on his campaign commitments to addressingclimate change and supporting renewable energy. The pace of EPA fines andlawsuits against emissions violators, which has basically been a reversal ofits stance under the Bush administration where it basically insulated big coalfrom violations and rewrote, as well as re-interpreted clean air policy, hasclearly been picking up.

Also this week,on Friday the federal government settled a lawsuit which alleged that theExport-Import Bank of the U.S. and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. werefinancing energy projects overseas without consideration of the impact thoseprojects would have on climate change. The Export-Import bank agreed to providea combined $500 million in financing for renewable energy projects and begin toconsider the implications of GHGs associated with their funded projects.

To be sure, theObama administration can't and shouldn't be given credit for bringing the suit.That was brought in 2002 by four cities, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.But the new tone in Washington definitely is setting the stage for these suitsto find support and not get stonewalled and buried in bureaucracy. To be clear,the Bush administration was doing just that, saying the "alleged impacts ofglobal climate change are to remote and speculative" to require environmentalreviews sought by the plaintiffs and it sought to immunize the two agencies inquestion from the National Environmental Policy Act.

Ernst &Young reported that clean tech investment from VCs received $954 million in theQ4, up from $681 million in the same period last year, but down from $1.7billion invested in Q3. For the year, clean tech investments totaled $4.7billion across 186 deals. 


Vantage Pointreported over the weekend that it will invest more than $1 billion in greenstartups over the next 24 to 30 months. Current investments include Tesla Motors,BrightSource Energy and Better Place.  

TheNREL unveiled its new Mobile Alternative Fueling Station Locator which allowsdrivers to find the five closest biodiesel, electricity, E85 (ethanol),hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling sites. This convenient tool useswell-known, easy-to-navigate Google Maps to automatically generate maps tofueling sites and lists each station's contact information and business hours.Detailed driving directions and an instant phone connection to the station canall be accessed at

Biofuels & Biomass

USDA SecretaryTom Vilsack said his agency is in discussions with the EPA about increasing theamount of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply. Ethanol futures aredown about 23% this year, on decreasing demand, so increasing the blend wouldbe the most direct way to buoy demand for ethanol.

Iowa StateUniversity Extension economist Don Hofstrand reported this week that the averageethanol plant made no profit in December, after making a profit of $0.09 pergallon in November. For all of 2008, he said ethanol plants averaged a profitof $0.17 per gallon, down from $0.37 in 2007. Hoftstrand attributed the poorperformance to a decline in ethanol prices from $2.64 per gallon avg. in Julyto $1.49 in December.

In SanFrancisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the first commercial installation ofBlackGold Biofuel's brown-grease-to-diesel technology at the city's OceansideWater Pollution Control Plant.

Wisconsin'sgovernor Jim Doyle said he wants to install a new biomass boiler to replacecoal burning at the Charter Street Power Plant which powers the University ofWisconsin campus. The new boiler will be installed by 2012 and will costbetween $200 to $300 million.

India'sgovernment has launched a 10% ethanol-blending program on a pilot basis inBelgaum, Karnataka and Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. And Mitr Phol Sugar Group,Thailand's largest sugar producer plans to begin operations of its thirdethanol facility next week. The facility, which is a JV with Thai Oil PCL andPadaeng Industry PCL, will have a 200,000 liter-per-day capacity.

MGP Ingredients(Nasdaq:MGPI) said it is getting out of the ethanol business and is temporarilyshutting down distillery operations in Illinois.

Chapter 11

Renew Energy LLCfiled for Chapter 11, but is planning on keeping operations going to remainattractive for potential investors and/or acquirers.

VeraSun isselling assets to Valero Energy for $280 million, including certain productionfacilities in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana. It will hold anauction to sell other production and operations on more favorable terms, onMarch 16. Management said it has sufficient liquidity to maintain productionfacilities and staff through the sales process.


The Andersons(Nasdaq:ANDE) reported Q4 revenue in its grain and ethanol business of $565.1million, with 8% gross margins in the segment and operating income of $11.9million, compared with $548.2 million, 5.9% gross margins and operating incomeof $30 million for the same period last year. For FY08, it reported $2.4billion and 4% gross margins and operating income of $43.5 million in its grainand ethanol business, compared with FY07 revenue of $1.49 billion, 5.2% grossmargins and $65.9 million in operating income.

Archer DanielsMidland (NYSE:ADM) reported a 24% increase in Q2 profit to $585 million, or0.91 per share on revenue which rose 1% Y/Y to $16.67 billion. Its cornprocessing division profit fell $246 million to $29 million due to less demandfor ethanol.


The PhilippinesNational Biofuels Board vice chairman said this week that the country willimport more ethanol, mostly from Brazil, to cut its reliance on imported crude.As of Friday, all companies will be required to use 5% ethanol in gasoline and2% bio-diesel in regular diesel. The government will need 184 million liters(48 million gallons) for this year's needs. Petron, the nation's largestrefiner, said it will start selling 10% blended gasoline in all of its 1,288stations, simultaneous with the start of operations of its supplier, San CarlosBioenergy Corp. It is also buying ethanol from Leyte Agri Corp.

Commoditiesbroker Sucden Financial reported that Brazil's center-south sugar cane growingregion is expected to crush 530 million tons of cane in 2009-10, up 6% Y/Y. 43.5%of this is expected to go to sugar production while 56.5% is expected to go toethanol production. Lower ethanol prices and sugar shortages elsewhere in theworld (India) are expected to be key factors contributing to the preference ofsugar production over ethanol in the next crop.

And Brazil'sgovernment said the country's grain harvest is going to fall 6.5% this year dueto dry weather. The 2009 soy harvest is expected to fall 4.7%, to 57,2 milliontons from 60 million tons harvested in 2008.

On Friday, F.O.Licht revised its forecast for world sugar production lower to 156.3 millionmetric tons raw value, down 8%, while Brazil is expected to achieve a newrecord high in its production.

Brazil'sassociation of automakers said vehicle sales fell 20% in December on a Y/Ybasis. However, sales were up 9.3% sequentially.

Dow Chemical andSantelisa Vale SA shelved a $1 billion project to make plastic resins fromsugar-cane ethanol in Brazil. While the Brazilian segment of Archer DanielsMidland (NYSE:ADM) is reportedly nearing a deal to lease assets of a defunctgrain cooperative (Cooagri)  inMato Grosso do Sul.

Carbon, Clean Tech, Climate and Emissions

The Obama administration issteadily bringing accountability back into the EPA's mandate, and on Friday,the Justice Department notified that Supreme Court that it is dismissing achallenge on rules which would allow mercury emission from power plants.

EnergySecretary  Steven Chu said watershortages in California may be severe enough by 2100 to put the state's farmsout of business unless climate change is slowed.

An environmentalscientist with the state of Utah told the state's Air Quality Board on Thursdaythat three counties don't meet new ozone limits. According to EPA officials,there are 345 counties across the country that don't meet the standard, whichwill cost $8 billion per year by 2020 to implement.

The EPA is set,per Obama's request, to reconsider its March 6, 2008 decision to denyCalifornia permission to set standards limiting GHGs from motor vehicles. TheClean Air Act gives EPA the authority to allow California to adopt its ownemission standards for motor vehicles due to the seriousness of the state's airpollution challenges.

And the JusticeDepartment is filing suit against Westar Energy accusing it of violating airquality laws at one of its coal-fired plants. The Department and EPA say thatupgrades are needed. Westar said it made upgrades 10 to 15 years ago. Also thisweek, Kentucky Utilities agreed to settle a similar lawsuit by installing $135million in upgrades to the E.W. Brown Generating System (aptly named) andpaying $1.4 million in fines.

Patriot Coal Corporation has agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil penaltyto settle violations of the Clean Water Act. In a jointcomplaint filed concurrently with the consent decree, the United States and theState of West Virginia alleged that Patriot violated its Clean Water Actpermits more than 1,400 times -- representing over 22,000 days of violationsbetween January 2003 and December 2007 at its mining complexes in WestVirginia. During this time, Patriot and its subsidiaries allegedly dischargedexcess amounts of metals, sediment, and other pollutants into dozens of riversand streams in West Virginia.


CoaLogix, a subsidiary of AcornEnergy (Nasdaq:ACFN) and EnerTech Capital announced NOxAssureTM which istargeted at enabling utilities to comply with new Clean Air Interstate Rule(CAIR) quickly, and at a reduced cost.


Fuel Tech (Nasdaq:FTEK) announced a Fuel Chem demonstration order from adomestic electric utility that will be conducted at a large coal-firedgenerating unit utilizing its TIFI Targeted In-Furnace Injection Technology.

XL Capital saidits insurance division is launching a unit to provide pollution insurancecoverage to small and mid-sized businesses.

In Canada, thisweek its new environment minister, Scott Vaughan, said that the government'sprograms to reduce GHGs haven't been effective. An indication of failingpolicy, Vaughan pointed to the public tax credit announced in 20087 with a goalof lowering emissions by 220,000 tons. A year later, estimates were that theprogram would result in emissions reductions of 30,000 tons per year. Thegovernment has invested  more than$2 billion on these programs and Vaughan said to date, where data ismeasurable, Canadian's are getting little value for the money spent.

The EUParliament backed a plan calling for an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 and a 60%renewable energy target, as well as a 35% energy efficiency goal. By 2020, itcalls for 20% energy savings. Other key points include better energyconnections between member states, a single EU grid for electricity, gas, and asingle transmission operator, easier access for renewables to the grid,incentives for local energy crops, incentives for using more biomass in fossilfuel plants, more energy storage and "smart" grids and a call for an energy"road map" in 2050.

The UK's energyminister, Mike O'Brien approved a 900MW coal gasification plant in Yorkshirewhich developers are hoping to turn into a carbon capture and storage plantsometime in the future.

Energy Management and Energy Efficiency

Obama isordering the Energy Administration to put in place higher efficiency standardsfor appliances. He expects energy standards for appliances to be forthcoming byAugust. Most important, Obama is putting emphasis on keeping to standard thistime out instead of what has historically been the case with missed deadlines,bureaucratic disputes in enforcement, etc.

CalAmp announceda partnership with KORE Telematics to develop a wireless solution for AdvancedMetering Infrastructure and Smart Grid applications.

Comverge enteredinto a five-year agreement with Pepco Holdings to provide its demand responsehardware and software system, as well as installation and marketing services tosupport PHI's future Advance Metering Structure. The demand response system isexpected to be capable of providing more than 200MW of peak load reduction inPHI's suburban Maryland service areas. Comverge also announced the release ofits Apollo® Demand Response Management System and Platform® which will manageresidential and commercial demand management resources while incorporatingcapabilities for PHEV and EV control, renewable energy resource management andfuture SmartGrid resources. Comverge is at the leading edge of the V2Gridmarkets and we think the potential here is going to be massive.

eMeter signed acontract to supply Australian power utility SP AusNet with its EnergyIP datamanagement solution, which will be deployed across SP AsuNet's 680,000residential and 20,000 commercial and industrial meter points.

GridPoint haspartnered with OSIsoft to develop energy and smart grid solutions for electricutilities. The partnership will leverage OSIsoft's PI System which is alreadydeployed in several utilities to adopt solutions enabled by GridPoint'ssoftware platform including energy efficiency, load management, and electricvehicle management.

IBM was selectedby Water Services Corporation for a €70 million, five-year agreement to designand delivery a nationwide Smart Grid solution for Malta.

Itron(Nasdaq:ITRI) said it is partnering with Digi International to develop solutionsto enable utilities to remotely monitor and control distribution automationdevices utilities Itron's OpenWay® advanced metering infrastructure network. Italso announced an integration and reseller agreement with Tendril. Itron saidits existing relationship with Tendril resulted in $1 billion in U.S. businessin 2008, and it the new agreement will enable Itron's sales force to resellTendril's TREE energy management solution on a nationwide basis to utilitiesand energy retailers. The TREE product integrates with OpenWay.

Orion EnergySystems (Nasdaq:OESX) launched an energy efficient parking lot lighting systemsolution which will reduce energy consumption by more than 50% while increasinglight levels.

SAP announced anagreement with Landis+Gyr whereby LG will integrate its Advanced MeteringInfrastructure into SAP's business application portfolio for utilities. Oraclefollowed with an update of its own about its Utility Quotations Managementsoftware capabilities as well as customer wins for its Meter Data Managementproduct.


Echelon(Nasdaq:ELON) reported Q4 revenues of $36.79 million,  and a loss of $6.25 million, or $0.15 per share, comparedwith revenue of $46.89 million for the same period last year with net profit of912 thousand, or earnings of $0.2 per share. For the year, revenue was 134million compared with $137.5 million for FY07. Gross margin slipped Y/Y for theQ4 to 35.9% from 40.9% but increased for the year to 38.4% from 36.5%. Guidancefor Q109: revenue in a range of $17 to $19 million and GAAP loss per sharebetween $0.34 and $0.38.

Energy Storage

Axion Power(AXPW.OB) received an $800,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Alternative FuelsIncentive Grant program, which will be used to demonstrate Axion's PbCTM batterytechnology for HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs. It also received grants from the AdvancedLead-Battery Consortium in the amount of $380,000 which it will use to furtherdevelop its PbC technology.

Beacon Power(Nasdaq:BCON) signed a contract worth up to $3 million with the U.S. Naval SeaSystems Command to evaluate the use of flywheel energy storage technology.

Ener1(Nasdaq:HEV) said it signed an MOU with ITOCHU whereby ITOCHU will introduceEner1's products to the Japanese market, including introductions as an energystorage solution for the Japanese solar power markets where ITOCHU is lookingto expand its business.

Riverbank Powerhas applied for U.S. permits to study the development of five 1,000MWpumped-storage projects in New Jersey, Maine and New York. It wants to developpumped-storage plants to serve increasing electricity demand and assist in theintegration of wind power.



EVs, Hybrids and PHEVs

Better Place'sShai Agassi reiterated his progressive business model this week at the TEDconference which emulates a cellular phone model - you pay for miles like youpay for minutes on your phone. Replace the phone with the EV, cell towers withbattery recharge stations and cellular networks with a recharge grid.

EnterpriseRent-A-Car designated two more of its rental locations as hybrid branches. Itnow reports to have designated more than 80 hybrid branches across the countryand has added almost 5,000 hybrid vehicles to its fleet.

Ford (NYSE:F)announced that Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the battery system for itsfirst production PHEVs beginning in 2012. And General Motors outlined a plan tohelp communities like San Francisco and Washington D.C. prepare for PHEVsincluding its Chevrolet Volt. Fundamental to a successful rollout is thatcharging infrastructure be available to support the vehicles. Other challengesGM cited include consumer incentives, renewable electricity options, governmentand corporate vehicle purchase and other incentive like high-occupancy-vehiclelane access.

RaserTechnologies (NYSE:RZ) provided an update on its development of an SUV PHEV demo vehicleincorporating its Symetron technologies, integrating a 200kw Symetron tractionmotor and a 100kw generator, and initial testing of the components.

Reva said it islaunching an advanced model of its EV in India this year. The car will have a120 km range and the battery will allow drivers to recharge in an hour. It isprojecting sales of 1,000 units this year.

Tanfieldreported this week that it has reached break-even on a monthly basis and it hasentered into a JV to produce its EVs in North America.

Wal-Mart said itplans to test diesel-electric hybrids from Arvin Meritor and Peterbilt, as wellas trucks that will run on cooking grease from Wal-Mart stores and biofuelblends. It began implementing a company-wide program to increase efficiency ofits trucking fleet back in 2005 and has achieved increases by more than 25%over that period.


Ball StateUniversity's board of directors approved a $66 million geothermal project thatis aimed at meeting the university's energy requirements, and will eliminatefour coal-fired boilers built back in the 40s and 50s which are being usedtoday.

NevadaGeothermal Power (NGLPF.OB) said it is on track in its development of the BlueMountain ‘Faulkner I' geothermal power plant, which is being designed by Ormat(NYSE:ORA) subsidiary Ormat Nevada Inc.

RaserTechnologies (NYSE:RZ) announced a long-term lease agreement with private landowners in Oregon covering 37,000 acres of geothermal resources. Terms weren'tdisclosed.

The Los AngelesDepartment of Water and Power is going to secure  up to 100MW of geothermal power from the Comisión Federal deElectricidad bringing the LADWP to 10% renewable energy power supply. Its 2020target is 20% renewables.

The GeothermalEnergy Association's Karl Gawell penned an editorial for Renewable Energy Worldthis week explaining why more geothermal projects aren't moving forward inCalifornia (though it currently produces about 5% of California's electricity).The answer he says, is largely bureaucratic - lease and permit issues - butalso involves fluidity relating to federal and state policies supportingrenewable energy.

In thePhilippines, Geyser Green Energy has increased its ownership in Envent from 50%to 80%. Envent is currently working on several geothermal projects.


Heat Recovery

SofameTechnologies Inc. (TSX-V: SDW), signed a representation agreement grantingHunton Specialty Products, exclusive rights to market and sell Sofame productsin Texas. 


A2SEA A/S received acontract from Fluor for the installation of Siemens turbines at the GreaterGabbard project off the UK coast. The SEA JACK project, scheduled to commenceoperations in 2010, is capable of loading three complete 3.6MW turbines at atime.

Andritz Hydroreceived an order from Limak Energy to supply electro-mechanical equipment tothe 265.5-MW Alkumru hydroelectric project on Turkey's Dicle River.

Hondurasutility Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica signed a contract with Brazil'sConstructora Norberto Odebrecht to build the 97-MW Los Llanitos and 172-MWJicatuyo hydroelectric projects on Honduras' Ulua and Jicatuyo rivers.

GreenOcean Energy's 500kW Wave Treader has completed feasibility testing and a fullsize prototype could be ready for testing in 2010, with commercialization in2020. For a very cool presentation on the technology, click here:

TheMassachusetts Renewable Energy Trust awarded $1 million in design andconstruction grants for rehabilitation and upgrades of three hydropowerprojects totaling about 800 kW.

BritishColumbia's Integrated Land Management Bureau authorized Hawkeye Energy Corp. tocontinue the permitting process for development of 33 hydro sites and atransmission line corridor

Canadian goldminer Banro Corp completed a feasibility study of its Twangiza Gold Project inthe Democratic Republic of Congo, finding the proposed 30-MW Ulindi 2hydropower project an economic benefit to gold mine operations.

Green Industrial

Axion International Holdings(AXIH.OB) announced a $560,000 order for composite crossties from a major USrailroad company, which management says may lead to follow-on business andlarger orders. The company is also in the process of constructing two bridgesfor the US Army using its proprietary blend of recycled composite materials.


aleo solar AGsaid its total European order book has surpassed 50MW. Its target sales for2009 are more than €380 million.

BP Solarreported that is nominal capacity in Q4 FY08 declined sequentially to 213MWfrom 277MW.

Canadian Solar(Nasdaq:CSIQ) announced the opening of its new PV Cell Research Center inSuzhou, in the Jiangsu Province. The focus on the facility, which is partneredwith DuPont, the University of Toronto and Shanghai Jiao Tong University issolar cell efficiency.

E-Ton Solar Techannounced an order for 50MWp of solar cells. PV Tech reported on rumors thatthe client is widely thought to be BP Solar since it plans to close itsAustralian factory by March.

Sontor GmbH saidit produced and sold 3.6MW in 2008 and its production ramp has because inThalheim, Germany  (nominal capacityof 24MW). Management said its module efficiency for its thin film modules hasachieved stability at 8% conversion efficiency. At cell level, it said it hasstable values up to 9.3%.

Renewable EnergyCorp. (REC.OL) said expansion of its Washington polysilicon plant is off itsend of January target but it expected to start soon. Its 2009 poly productiontarget is 11,500MT. Production at the Moses Lake plant in Washington wasexpected to contribute 5,000MT of its total production.

Downstream &Equipment

Akeena(Nasdaq:AKNS) signed an agreement with Enphase Energy to co-develop and marketAndalay solar panel systems with normal AC house current output. Under theterms of the agreement, Akeena will purchase a minimum of 5,000 microinvertersin both 2009 and 2010 from Enphase and Enphase will make available up to100,000 microinverters over the same period.

3M is launchinga new Renewable Energy Division which will be focusing on solar energy, notingthe potential for its Mirror Films technology and lower costs than SolarConcentrator Panels.

3S said itreceived a €11.6 million order from a German customer to deliver a partial linefor the highly automated production of solar modules.

Sunovia Energyis helping to build a $200 million solar plant in the Dominican Republic.

Xantrex suppliedfour GT Series Three Phase Grid Tie Solar Inverters for a 1.1MW solar powersystem in Valley Center, California which was designed and installed by EntechSolar.


ARISETechnologies announced preliminary guidance for financial and operational Q4results, seeing increases in shipments in from its new German plant to reach6.2MW, up 24% sequentially, but overall shipments in the second half of 2008were about 11.2MW, down from a previous forecast of 12-13MW.  Management also said there is someuncertainty about the completion date of its cell manufacturing line.Management expects to report revenue in the $18.5 to $19.5 million range in Q4,below previous guidance of $21 to $24 million.

Evergreen Solar(Nasdaq:ESLR) reported a Q4 loss of $52.1 million, or $0.32 per share, comparedwith net income of $788 thousand, or $0.01 per share for the same period lastyear. $40.8 million of the losses were charges and write-down related. Revenuerose to $44.2 million for the quarter from $22.2 million last year.

GT Solar(Nasdaq:SOLR) reported Q3 FY09 revenues of $205.2 million, up 46% sequentiallyand from $14.7 million in the same quarter last year. Gross profit increase to$89.5 million from $1.7 million for the same period last year. Net income was$43.1 million, or $0.30 per diluted share compared with a loss of $4.5 million,or a loss of $0.03 per diluted share for the same quarter last year. Backlogwas more than $1.3 billion and the end of December. Management guided Q4 profitand revenue lower. Management now expects to earn $0.16 to $0.22 per share onrevenue of $140 to $170 million. For the year, it expects to earn $0.68 to$0.74 per share on revenue of $540 to $570 million.

Newport Capitalsaid orders to PV manufacturers have grown by more than 150% in 2008 to $33.6million. Solar equipment sales were $21 million in FY08 compared with $9.3million last year, and for the Q4, sales to PV manufacturers were $5.9 million,and orders received were $3.2 million.

MKS (Nasdaq:MSKI)Instruments said its sales into the solar manufacturing industry in 2008reached $49 million, and it doubled its solar customer base to more than 120customers. On its conference call, management said its order rates this yearfor solar look pretty good so its outlook remains positive.

systaic AGannounced 2008 sales greater than €200 million, up 6x over the €31 millionreported in 2007. Management cited construction of large-scale PV power plantsas the catalyst for growth and said it expects sales in 2009 to more than €260million. Management also said it has agreements with project partners for theconstruction of building-integrated solar plants of about 125MW.  


Suntech(NYSE:STP) said it was granted a preliminary injunction in Germany against"Suntech Power Holding (Hongkong) Co.", a business totally unrelated to itself,but apparently looking to leverage the brand.


Idaho's SenateResources and Environment Committee unanimously approved a bill which willrequire state agencies to give priority attention to proposed transmissionprojects, but it decided not to include provisions advocated by the Snake RiverAlliance to include promotion of renewable energy resources.

Maine stateregulators shelved a $625 million power grid expansion for supporting anorthern Maine wind farm after Aroostook Wind Energy discovered unanticipatedtechnical hurdles.

EthiopianElectric Power Corp. awarded contracts totaling US$31.4 million to buildtransmission lines and substations to link its hydro-based power system withthat of the Sudan.

Wind Energy

The Global WindEnergy Council release data this week that showed the U.S. is become theworld's leader in wind power installations, while China's total capacitydoubled for the fourth year in a row. And a report issued this week by theWorld Economic Forum, GreenInvesting: Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure, rated onshore and offshorewind as number one and number two respectively on the list of large-scale cleanpower sectors expected to provide a meaningful contribution to the world'senergy mix by mid-century (see Research & Reports below).

NY state officials aretesting a wind turbine on top of the 41-story Corning Tower, for feasibility oflarger urban wind-energy programs.

Public ServiceCo. announced plans to buy an additional 198MW of wind energy, purchasing98.9MW from a wind farm being built in Elk City by NextEra Energy Resource and99MW from Horizon Wind Energy's Blue Canyon wind farm near Lawton. This willbring PSO's wind energy purchases to about 590MW.

AEE reportedthat Spain's installed wind capacity at the end of 2008 was 16,740MW, anincrease of 1,609MW for the year, and it projected similar growth this year andon track to meet the government's target of 20,000MW of capacity by 2010.

Gamesa (GTQ1.BE)won a tender from Enel (ENEI.MI) to install and maintain 104MW of wind energyin Romania. The contract includes an option to supply an additional 69 turbinesto a previous 52MW order for two Romania wind farms.

Iberdrola'ssubsidiary Canyon Wind LLC signed a wind energy purchase agreement withSnohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) in Oregon for the 100.8MW Hay Canyon Wind Project.

The EuropeanWind Energy Association said this week that in 2008, more wind power wasinstalled in the EU than any other electricity generating technology (43% ofall new electricity).

Legal Notes

A man innorthern Missouri filed a lawsuit against the Wind Capital Group alleging thatits wind turbines have hurt his property values and have made him ill (sleepdeprivation from turbine noise).


AmericanSuperconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) reported a Q3 loss of $7.8 million, or $0.18 pershare, up slightly Y/Y from a net loss of $7.3 million reported last year.Revenue increased 27% Y/Y to $41.3 million, with gross margin dipping to 23.3%from 30.9%. Its backlog as of December 31, 2008 was about $602 million,compared with $168 million in Q3, 2007. Management said it expects to recognizemore than $175 million of this backlog in FY09. It also said for the Q3, morethan $27 million came in revenue came from its D-VAR ® Smart Grid products. Interms of guidance - GAAP profit in Q4, and FY08 revenue in a range of $175 to$182 million with net loss in a range of $17 to $18 million, or $0.40 to $0.42per share. EBTIDAS forecast for FY08 in range of $7 to $10 million. For FY09, GAAPprofit of more than $222 million.

Otter Tail(Nasdaq:OTTR) reported 2008 revenues in its electric segment of $340 millionand net income of $33.2 million, compared with revenues of $323.5 million andnet income of $24.5 million in 2007.

DOE Watch

The Departmentof Energy Hydrogen Program issued an RFI this week, looking forstakeholder and public input on potential early markets and deploymentopportunities for hydrogen and fuel cells. The information collected will helpguide the Program's efforts to identify key early markets and related greendomestic jobs, validate hydrogen and fuel cell system performance through datacollection and communicate results, cultivate demand and accelerate marketdevelopment, and reduce non-technical barriers that hinder market penetration.

State and Federal Driven News

Reps. Edward J.Markey (D-Mass.) and Todd Platts (R-Pa.) introduced a renewable electricity standardthat would ensure that America is generating a quarter of its electricity fromclean energy sources by 2025. Rep. Markey also introduced an energy efficiency standardthat will cost-effectively cut electricity demand. The two measures will createmore than a half million jobs and will save consumers more than $180 billion.

Barbara Boxer,Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee held a press conferenceto share principles of a climate change bill she hopes to pass this year whichinclude:

  •        Reduction of emissions to levels guided by science to avoid dangerous global warming;
  •        Set short- and long-term emissions that are certain and enforceable;
  •        Establish a transparent and market based system (cap and trade program);
  •        Use carbon market revenues to keep consumer whole and invest in clean-energy technologies and energy-efficiency measures.


Michigan'sGovernor Granholm  signed anexecutive order creating an advisory panel for offshore wind energy developmentin the state - The Great Lakes Wind Council. In addition, Granholm called for areduction in fossil fuels consumption these week of 45% by 2020.

Oregon'sGovernor Kulongoski made an appeal for a cap-and-trade plan to reduce emissionsfrom utilities and other sources before the House and Senate environmentalcommittees this week. Oregon has been taking a leadership position on thesubject, and is part of the Western Climate Initiative which was set up toestablish a regional market to trade carbon emissions credits with a goal tocut carbon emissions below 2005 by 2020 (about a 15% decline).

Pennsylvania GovernorRendell reiterated his commitment to alternative energy this week and supportfor the state's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act which mandates by2021 that at least 18.5% of all electricity sold in Pennsylvania will begenerated from alternative energy sources.

The South DenverChamber of Commerce is calling for a Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit  for companies that add a renewableenergy fund to employee 401(k) plans that would generate an additional annual$20 to $30 billion of new investment.

Coal LosingSupport in Many States

Georgialegislators introduces a bill (House Bill 276) that would limit utility use ofcertain Appalachian coal  (coalmined by mountain top removal) beginning in 2011 and would place a moratoriumon new coal-plant construction in the state. This is good news, as theconsequences of mountain top mining in the Appalachian Mountains on locals hasbeen one of the ugliest and most under-reported stories in recent years -  in our opinion.

Michigan'sGovernor Jennifer Granholm shelved plans for seven coal plants to keep withtargets of cutting fossil fuel use for generating electricity to 45% by 2020.About 65% of the state's power gen comes from coal plants today.

Finance and M&A

NewSpringCapital's NewSpring Mezzanine Fund invested $5.04 million in IDC WestinghouseSolar. It participated in senior and senior unsubordinated debt financingrelated to the buyout alongside Calvert Street Capital Partners and PatriotCapital. Sorenson Capital led the equity financing.

Reports surfacedthis week that Solar Millennium (S2MG.DE) is still looking forpartners/investors for its Iberso thermal solar power plant which it hopes tobegin building by mid-2009.

Sirona Fuelsacquired Blue Sky Biofuels and its 15-million gallon-per-year refinery in theBay Area of California which produces biodiesel from recycled cooking oil. Sironaplans to produce the majority of its biodiesel from jatropha by the end of2009.

Borrego SolarSystems Inc., an El Cajon, Calif.-based designer and installer of grid-tiedsolar electric power systems, raised $14 million in new funding. No investorinformation was disclosed.

Upgrades & Downgrades

February 2 -Solarworld AG (SWVG.DE) downgraded to HOLD at Commerzbank.

February 2 -Wacker Chemie (WCHG.DE) downgraded to HOLD at Equinet  with price target reduction to €60 from €80, citing fallingdemand in chemical segments despite ‘very stable' results in polysilicon unit.

February 2 -Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) downgraded to NEUTRAL at UBS.

February 2 -Valence (Nasdaq:VLNC) initiated at BUY at MDB Capital.

February 3 - FirstSolar (Nasdaq:FSLR) rated BUY at Argus with a $209 price target.

February 3 -American Superconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) rated HOLD at Jesup & Lamont. AnalystBrian Yerger said company's position remains favorable in  (China wind and U.S. grid), but untilmanagement can show consistent results the current premium in stock "valuationmeasures will remain conservative."

February 4 -Calpine (NYSE:CPN) rated OUTPERFORM at RBC Capital Markets.

February 4 -Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) rated NEUTRAL at JP Morgan.

February 5 -Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq:ENER) rated OUTPERFORM at Cowen &Company. Analyst Rob Stone said he expects Q209 to meet or beat consensus butis also looking for reduced FY09 guidance. He is looking for FY09 earnings of$1.51 on revenue of $453 million, also expecting slightly lower GMs.

February 5 -Conergy (CGYG.DE) rated UNDERWEIGHT at HSBC and price target was cut to €0.50from €2.50. The analyst cited concerns about future capital requirements asearly as the second half of 2009.

February 5 -Power Integrations (Nasdaq:POWI) rated BUY at Deutsche Securities with pricetarget of $21.

February 6 -American Superconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) initiated at BUY at AmTech Research withprice target of $20.

February 6 -Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) was downgraded to NEUTRAL from BUY at PiperJaffray, with a price target reduced to $2.50 from $5. Key to the downgradewere increased risk to ESLR's poly price cost advantage, as poly pricescontinue to decline faster than expected.

February 6 -Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) rated NEUTRAL at Cowen & Company. Analyst RobStone is looking for wider losses in the first half of 2009 on lower grossmargins, and outsourcing next expansion of cell and module capacity will reducefinancing needs but will increase execution risk. Stone cut 2009 expectedshipments to 113MW, but slightly better ASPs.

February 6 -Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) rated MARKET PERFORM at Janco with price targetof $3. Janco previously rated ESLR at HOLD with a $4.50 price target (2/3/09),at BUY with a $12 price target (7/22/08) and a $16 price target (1/29/09).

February 6 -Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) rated BUY at Kaufman with a $6 price target.Kaufman previously rated ESLR at BUY with a $18 price target (5/28/09).

February 6 -Echelon (Nasdaq:ELON) rated HOLD with price target of $5 at DeutscheSecurities. Deutsche had pervious rated ELON at HOLD with an $11 price target(5/1/08) and a $13 price target (4/15/08).

Research & Reports

Wind Powering America (update)

This presentationillustrates the evolution of commercial wind technology in the United States,how capacity in megawatts has increased while costs have decreased, and thatpeople want renewable energy. The United States led the world in 2007 in windcapacity additions and is second in cumulative capacity. The U.S. lags behind othercountries for wind as a percentage of electricity consumption. Wind powercontributed 35% of all new generating capacity in the United States in 2007.Installed project costs are on the rise after a long period of decline. Windhas been competitive with wholesale power prices in recent years. Regardless ofthese pricing trends, more than 225 GW of wind has applied for interconnection.The presentation also shows a current map of the United States' installed windcapacity compared to 1999. It goes on to lists the drivers for wind powerincluding: declining wind costs, fuel price uncertainty, federal and statepolicies, economic development, public support, green power, energy security,and carbon risk; illustrates the generation cost of wind compared to othergeneration sources, natural gas and coal historic prices, renewable portfoliostandards, and wind energy investors; lists economic development impacts ofwind energy; lists environmental benefits; highlights water issues; highlightscase studies and local ownership models; lists key issues for wind power;discusses the 20 percent wind scenario, market challenges, job creation, watersavings, and carbon savings.

Green Investing Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure

The WorldEconomic Forum is proud to release this report as part of our Green Investingproject. The Green Investing project, which was mandated by the Forum's Investorscommunity at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2008,aims to explore ways in which the world's leading investors can mosteffectively engage in the global effort to address climate change. TheInternational Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2008 estimates aroundUS$550 billion needs to be invested in renewable energy and energy efficiencyalone each year between now and 2030 if we are to limit concentrations to450ppm CO2e, while New Energy Finance's Global Futures analysis points to anaverage annual investment of US$ 515 billion over an extended period. The needto shift to a low-carbon economy is stronger than ever. Clean energytechnologies are becoming increasingly cost-competitive with fossil-basedenergy. A carbon price will eventually level the playing field, but in themeantime clean energy solutions require support from policy-makers. (Excerptsfrom Executive Summary).

Hit List

James E. Spain,70, former president of Crown Chemical Inc., Crestwood, Ill., was sentencedyesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago to pay a criminal fine of $30,000and spend 12 months in home confinement. Spain plead guilty to illegallydumping chemical wastes into the regional sewer system. He was also ordered tospend three years on probation. Crown Chemical Inc., which also pleaded guilty tocharges in the case, was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $100,000, requiredto spend a year on probation and make a public apology.


Aspire Clean Tech Stock Indices Component Performance for the Week EndedFebruary 6, 2009 

Upcoming Events

February 10-12:
International Colloquiumon Environmentally Preferred Advanced Power Generation (ICEPAG 2009)
Newport Beach, CA
Contact:Lorin Humphries
Phone: +1949-824-7302, Ext. 212
Fax: +1949-824-7423

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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