Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended January 16, 2009

Jan 18, 2009
Author: Administrator

Much has been made over Obama’s plan to double output of alternative energy over the next three years, and soon-to-be-former Energy Secretary Sam Bodman questioned whether the goal is attainable this week. In terms of which source of energy would be easiest to scale, Bodman gave the nod to solar over wind. While Obama’s USDA nominee, Tom Vilsack said he will promote biofuels and use programs to develop new feedstocks. And Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chualso expressed optimism about progress that can be made in the U.S. to create biofuels not based on food crops.

Obama’s targets are going to require massive funding (not to mention the logistics of execution), some of which will come from the economic stimulus plan, which House Democrats unveiled yesterday totaling $825 billion. Included in the proposed plan is $20 billion in tax cuts for alternative energy and a multiy ear extension of the production tax credit for wind, geothermal, hydro and bioenergy,as well as tax credits for R&D focused on energy efficiency andconservation. In addition, the legislation calls for $32 billion to upgrading the energy grid, $16 billion to making housing more energy efficient and $2.4to the development of carbon capture technologies. An additional $6 billionwill go to the weatherizing of low-income housing.


Oil Industry Weighs in on Renewable EnergyProspects

According to AP,BDO Seidman LLP revealed results of a survey which showed almost 9 out of 10oil executives predict renewable energy to gain a larger share of the market inthe next five years and more than 1 in 5 executives expect the share to morethan double. Other results:

·      Nearly two-thirds of oilexecutives favor controls on CO2 emissions;

·      37% of oil executives say theindustry should be left to “self regulation” when it comes to GHGs;

·      64% of oil executives expectrenewable energy to grow between 8% and 12% in five years (current renewableenergy sources account for about 7% of U.S. energy production);

·      22% of oil executives expectedrenewable energy to grow between 13% and 16% (current renewable energy sourcesaccount for about 7% of U.S. energy production);

·      48% of oil executives said theworld has either reached or will reach within several years, its maximum rateof oil production;

·      75% of oil executives expectglobal demand for oil to peak within 20 years, and 31% said it would come in a decade; 





 Bad Karma

The Kensington Gold Mine, near Juneau, Alaska has asked the Supreme Court for a permit to dumpmetal waste into a nearby lake which would kill the aquatic life, with itschief counsel making an argument that “There will be more fish in a bigger lake, and more livable conditions for the fish and the aquatic life” after thelake gets restocked years down the road. Kensington found an ally in JusticeScalia who rhetorically quipped, “Isn’t it arguable that the best place forreally toxic stuff is at the bottom of a lake so long as it stays there?” And Chief Justice Roberts added “There are millions of them (fish) somewhere else,right?”

 Similar types of permits and end-aroundshave been a practice enabled by the Army Corps of Engineers in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia wreaking havoc on the ground water supplies for locals to the benefit of coal outfits.

The Tennessee Valley Authority was ordered by a federal judge to install pollution controls at four coal-fired plants in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Meanwhile, Texas environmental regulators approved a plan this week to allow Waste Control Specialists to dispose of low-level radioactive waste from around the country at a West Texas remote site near the New Mexico border.

And Good Karma

Fisker unveiled a production version of its Fisker Karma, which has solar panels on the roof and a starting price of $87,900. It plans to have 40 retailers in the U.S. by year end and to sell 15,000 units. The 260hp car has a 50-mile range on a single charge and a top speed of 125 mph. Fisker has pre sold 1,500 vehicles.


Biofuels and Biomass

An Open Letter speaking out against “agrofuels” was published this morning criticizing industrially produced biofuels from feedstock including corn, sugar cane, oilseeds, trees,grasses, and other biomass warning that any of it will threaten making climatechange worse.

First United Ethanol resumed production at its 100 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant in Mitchell County Georgia.

Innovation Fuels purchased the former 310,000 barrel capacity Shell Oil terminal at the Port of Milwaukee. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Poet LLC began production at its $8 million, 20 thousand gallon, pilot-scale biorefinery in Scotland. The feedstock for the ethanol is corn cobs and fiber left behind infields. Poet plans to open a larger $200 million commercial-scale refinery in Emmetsburg, Iowa in 2011. And a Poet plant in South Dakota caught fire this week.

Next Step Biofuels announced a 20-year feedstock procurement contract with The Price Companies which calls for the Price Companies to supply Next Step annually with up to 500,000 tons of wood chips, bark, pulpwood and other tree-based products for conversion into cellulosic ethanol.

Verenium (Nasdaq:VRNM) and Lykes Bros. are building a 36 million gallon cellulosicethanol facility in Florida which it expects to be commercially operational by2011.

Closing the Doors

Northeast Biofuels LP, owner of Oswego County’s new $200 million, 114 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant filed for bankruptcy.  While Vera Sun is putting 7 ethanol plants up for auction per its DIP agreement with Agstar Financial Services.


Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) and Alianca Da Terra launched Doing it Right, a advocacy program for sustainable farming practices.

Nissan has started production of its flex-fuel Livina at the Renault-Nissan Alliance plantin Sao Jose dos Pinhais, Brazil.

Three Indian state-run firms, Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum,  which had planned to invest $600 million into sugarcane farms in Brazil have had to put off those plans due to challenging economic conditions. The target investments were two of the largest Brazilian ethanol companies, Infinity and Dreyfus Commodities Bioenergia.

The Inter-American Development Bank said today that it is creating a $150 million fund to support trade financing and investment loans to sugar and bioenergy firms, as well as exporters in Brazil, Mexico and Central America affected by the global credit crisis.


Clean Tech and Carbon Reduction

The Edison Electric Institute, which includes Southern Co., American Electric Power,Exelon Corp., and Duke Energy as members, issued a policy statement this week calling for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions from current levels by 2050,and that short-term reduction targets should be based on currently available technologies including energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear power. Mid-term targets should also have low carbon technologies like additional nuclear and CCS technologies. EEI also advocates a cap-and-trade program.

The U.S.government is backing a $300 million loan for Basin Electric Power cooperative for a carbon capture project at its North Dakota coal-fired plant. This is the first commercial scale CCS project at an existing coal-fired plant. Power span is providing the carbon capture technology, which management says costs about $0.03 per kw.

Transport ministers from 21 countries met this week in Tokyo to discuss measures aimed at cutting GHGs in the sector. Controversially, China pulled out at the last minute charging thatricher, more developed nations should be leading the process. Never mind that it is the world’s top polluter. That being said, the U.S. did a poor job under the Bush Administration in demonstrating how to lead here.

Deutsche Bank’sBill Barbour, director and investment specialist with DWS, one of its mutual fund units, told Reuters this week that companies promoting energy efficiencyand offering solutions to environmental problems are a good long-term bet asinvestments given regulatory support and increasing pressures to reduce energyconsumption and greenhouse gases. Case in point - Cement manufacturer CEMEX settled with the EPA, agreeing to pay a $2 million fine and committing to reducing its GHGs by 1890 tons per year (almost a 40% reduction).

One of our client companies, Power Efficiency (OTCBB:PEFF) should be a benefactor of the increased attention and scrutiny on the cement industry’s high levels of energy consumption and carbon emissions through its E-Save technology which reduces energy consumption in target industrial motors by up to 40%, and corresponding carbon emissions.

Vietnam plans to spend $115 million over the next six years to prepare for the impact of global warming. The World Bank estimates that 10.8% of Vietnam’s 86 million people will be displaced if global warming causes a 3-foot rise in sea levels. Other countries that would experience the worst damage include Egypt, Mauritania, Surname, Guyana, French Guyana, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas and Benin.

Energy Efficiency, Demand Side and Supply Side

This week incoming Energy Secretary affirmed his commitment to pursuing policies to address climate change and to achieving energy independence to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, commenting that “Improvements in energy efficiency is the one single factor that can most reduce our dependency on foreign oil.” 


Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) affirmed its profit and revenue estimates for 2008 and 2009, with FY08 guidance of $1.91 to $1.93 billion in revenue an EPS between $3.35 and $3.45. 2009 revenue is expected to stay flat on a Y/Y basis while earnings are expected to grow 10% to 15%.


Energy Storage

Battery manufacturers are getting a boost as a result of all of the attention being paid to the emerging electric vehicle and PHEV markets. $3.5 billion is being carved out of the $825 billion stimulus plan pushed by the Democrats for battery research.

Apogee Power launched its Nano-Technology Enhanced Lithium cordless power tools and power tool replacement batteries.


FuelCell Energy  (Nasdaq:FCEL) received a $30.2 million contract for Phase II of the U.S. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Coal-based Systems Cooperative Agreement. Fuel Cell is developing aminimum 25kW  solid oxide fuel cell stack which meets SECA-targeted requirements for performance and cost, which will be integrated with a 250 kW to 1MW fuel cell power module and a 5MW proof-of-concept system that will operate on coal-based syngas.


Johnson Controls-Saft and Azure Dynamics agreed on a 5-year deal to provide a lithium-ion battery system to U.S. fleets including AT&T, Con Edison, FedEx Corp., and Purolator Companies.


V2Grid Updates


The City of Newark announced this week that it is the first electric utility in the U.S. to approve the use of EVs to store and provide power for the electric grid. The University of Delaware, which has been a leader in the development of V2G, led the project with a consortium of partners including Delmarva Power, Pepco Holdings, PJM, and AC Propulsion.


The Promise of V2G is its ability to smooth power output fluctuations over the grid, which currently operates in an inefficient manner that tries to balance electricity usage and electricity generation without the benefits of storage. V2G technology will provide storage capability which will become increasingly important as wind and solar contribute more to electric generation. The idea is that electric vehicles can be charged at night, or when they are non-operational with renewable power and the grid operator can tap excess storage to better maintain grid reliability.This is cool stuff.

EV, Plug-in and PHEVs

Hybrid and EVs got more attention at the Detroit auto show – BMW AG said it is ramping production of its gas-electric hybrid vehicles (the 7 Series and X6 crossover. Chrysler unveiled its 200C EV Concept. GM announced plans for a Cadillac EV concept car. Honda unveiled its hybrid, the Insight. Toyota announced its FT-EV, and unveiled a Prius that gets 50mpg. And Ford announced plans to have an EV of its own on the road by 2011. Volkswagen said it is going to produce hybrid and diesel versions of four vehicles for the U.S. market. Johnson Controls unveiled its re3 concept plug-inhybrid electric vehicle and Tesla featured its $109,000 roadster.

Tesla also announced this week that it is collaborating with Daimler AG to develop an electric Smart micro car with plans to produce 1,000 units to be available later this year.

General Motors said it has selected LG Chem to supply lithium-ion batteries for its Chevy Volt. High-profile A123 Systems was in the  running for the business.

The Army is leading 4,000 EVs from Chrysler for use on its bases, and estimates the initiative will reduce fuel consumption by 11.5 million gallons over the next six years and will cost about $750 less per year per vehicle to power than conventional counterparts.

Shai Agassi’s Better Place continues to make strides – this week announcing a partnership with the government of Ontario to bring an EV network to the province and develop a model to drive EV adoption.



The Oregon Institute of Technology is developing plans to be 100% powered by geothermal energy, which would require about 3MW of electricity. Drilling is expected to cost $3.9 million and the total cost is expected to be $8.5 million. The economics are attractive, with estimated annual savings of $500,000 and another $200,000 can be made through selling excess hot water.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is reportedly collaborating with Raser Technologies (NYSE:RZ) to rate the city for geothermal potential.

The Philippines Energy Development Corp. said it is bidding for the government’s Tongonan and Palimpinon geothermal plants, as well as Bacon-Manito which collectively represent 455.5 MW. EDC is also planning to develop about 600MW more of geothermal power over the next 10 years.

Tata BP SolarIndia Ltd., a JV between Tata and BP Solar, signed an MOU with the Gujurat Government to build a 5MW geothermal power plant in Gujurat (see Solar below for plans to build a 5MW solar plant also). .


Hydropower, Ocean and Tidal Power

Russian international power developer Inter RAO UES announced it signed a memorandum of understanding with Georgia officials to cooperate in the operation of Georgia’s1,250-MW Enguri Dam.

Scotland wave and tidal power developer Aquamarine Power Ltd. has named power and automation supplier ABB to complete electrical engineering design and to construct the electrical generating system for Aquamarine’s first Neptune tidal stream device.

Itezhi-Tezhi Power Corp. is planning to build the 120-MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydroelectricproject on Zambia’s Kafue River.

Generadora Pedregalito S.A., a subsidiary of Panama Power Holdings Inc., signed a contract to construct the 20-MW Pedregalito hydroelectric project on Panama’s ChicoRiver.




Rob Stone of Cowen & Company cut his estimates on his solar universe (see Upgrades and Downgrades below), noting that he expects the first half of 2009 to come in below Street estimates with potential for more down side if project credit conditions don’t improve. On the positive side, he said that solar stocks may rally in the near term on hype over the impact of Obama’s stimulus plan on the sector.

And iSuppli hosted webinar where analyst Henning Wicht forecast prices across the supply chain to plunge based on massive increases in polysilicon production, cells and modules. Companies that will fare the best in this environment are the ones that can achieve lower-cost-per-watt economics. Wicht projects 4.2GW in installations in 2009, a Y/Y increase of 10%, while module production will reach 11.1GW, increasing 44% Y/Y. Over supply is the theme for 2009. But the markets should turn around by 2010 with 6GW of installed capacity and as much as 10GW in 2012.

Mean while, Wicht said poly production is projected to hit 100,000MT (12GW) in 2009, and 250,000MTW (38GW) by 2012. Here again, supply is forecast to far out strip demand, which will drive poly prices down to an average of $250 per kg in 2009, below $150 per kg in 2010, below $100 per kg in 2011 and below $50 per kg in2012.

Advanced Solar Photonics announced plans to break grounds on its expanded Solar Fab this year with production scheduled to ramp to 40MW by late 2010. ET Solar Group Corp signed a 13MW module supply deal with Germany’s USE, a distributor and integrator which lasts through January to November 2009.

Hoku (Nasdaq:HOKU) and Jiangxi Jinko Solar Company reduced a poly order allowing for $178 million to be payable to Hoku over a 10-year period while Jiangxi will provide discounted tolling services through the 10-year term. Hoku has already received $20 million in prepayment and subject to the amended terms of the agreement, it will receive additional prepayments of $13 million which will be paid on or before March 31, 2009. Management also said this week that manufacturing of its poly plant in Pocatello is proceeding according to schedule. In terms of prepayments, it has received a total of $106 million and all of its customers are on schedule with prepayment timelines except Solargiga, which is behind in a $43 million prepayment.

Perfect energyInternational (PFGY.OB) announced a sales contract to supply 50MW of mono solar modules worth more than $150 million with Abidas AG. Delivery is scheduled through 2009. The company also announced it has a backlog in excess of $170 million.

REC (REC.OL) announced a deal worth more than $340 million to supply wafers to LG Electronics from 2010 through 2014.

Sovello’s (formerly EverQ) CEO Ted Scheiddegger said this morning that the company intends to resume its IPO plans, subject to improving market conditions. He also confirmed the company’s targets of FY08 sales over €200million ($265.4 million) but isn’t providing guidance for 2009.

Timminco announced that it shipped 1,044MT of UMG-Si in 2008, less than the range of 1,200MT to 1,500MT which it had previously targeted. It produced 1,214MT in the year.

Suntech (NYSE:STP) cut 10% of its workforce, or about 800 jobs, and suspended plans to expand capacity by 40% in 2009. And Optisolar cut almost 50% of its workforce,or about 300 jobs.

Tata BP SolarIndia Ltd., a JV between Tata and BP Solar, signed an MOU with the Gujurat Government to build a 5MW solar power plant in Gujurat.

Downstream & Equipment

Akeena Solar (Nasdaq:AKNS) and Solar Power Partners announced a 385kW installation on four commercial buildings in San Francisco. SPP is supplying a 15-year PPA to the site owner.

Econcern announced its goal to install 42MW of solar capacity in southern Italy, which would contribute an additional 15% of installed capacity to Italy’s currently installed 280MW of solar. The estimated cost to achieving this goal is €200million.

Phoenix Solar (PS4.DE) extended its integration contract with KG Allgelmeine Leasing GmbH through 2010 raising the volume of the agreement to a minimum of €150 million. Solar Power Partners announced that it activated 19 solar facilities with a total capacity of 7.7MW. SPP has a total of 12.8MW of projects, which have been funded by SPP Fund I and SPP Fund II, through a tax equity investment through Bank of America, and Energy Investors Funds.

Roth & RauAG and Innovalight completed a 10MW capacity silicon-ink based solar cell production line in Sunnyvale, California.

Suntech (NYSE:STP) signed an agreement with Open Energy (OEGY.OB) to license its BIPV membrane product on a worldwide basis.  


5N Plus, asupplier of cadmium telluride (CdTe) reported record quarterly revenue of $18.1million, and a backlog worth about $54.7 million as of the end of November. First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) accounts for 78% of the company’s sales.


Composite Technology (CPTC.OB) announced an order to upgrade a transmission line in northern Nevada from Sierra Pacific Power (dba NV Energy). ACCC™ conductor is being used to upgrade the currency carrying capacity of the line without the need to modify existing transmission infrastructures.

TransCanada is moving forward with plans for the Chinook Transmission Line Project, which is expected to get conceptual federal approval by February. It expects to announce a large contract with a large wind power generator by April, and is also planning a similar transmission line project called Zephyr in Wyoming which will carry green energy to Western and Southwestern markets. Each of the lines will cost about $3 billion. The Chinook line is expected to be operational by 2014.

Water and Sustainability

Chennai Petroleum Corporation commissioned a 5.8 million gallon per day reverseosmosis-based desalination plant. The plant cost Rs 231.34 crore.

Quantum Sphere filed for a U.S. patent on a water purification process that it claims is more energy-efficient than conventional desalination methods.

VWS Envigreceived a contract to build a water treatment plant to the Ndlambe Municipality to deliver 750 m3 of treated water daily. VWS will operate and maintain the plant.


Wind Energy

A-Power (Nasdaq:APWR) announced it signed two letters of intent with GE Drivetrain Technologies, a unit of General Electric (NYSE:GE) for the supply of 2.7MW gearboxes for its new turbine facility and another to establish a JV for a wind turbine gearbox assembly plant. It also held an opening ceremony for its wind turbine facility in Shenyang, China. The announcements should go a ways to providing a sense that the company remains on track to build its wind turbine business.

The Cape Wind project, America’s first offshore wind farm, after almost eight years of environmental review, cleared its final environmental review today for the 130-turbine project in Nantucket Sound. The U.S. Secretary of Interior now must wait 30 days before issuing the final decision on the project, which will end the permitting process for Cape Wind. The project will produce up to 420MW of energy.

Turkana Wind Poweris planning a 300MW wind farm in Kenya, which will cost about $760 million. The African Development Bank is expected to finance 30% of the cost. The project will consist of up to 360, 850kw wind turbines and Vestas (VEWI.DE) will build it. Vestas also announced today that it received an order for 67 3MW turbines from S.C. Ewind and S.C. Wind Power Park, two projects located in Constanta,Romania.

The NetherlandsTransportation Ministry approved a construction permit for a new 260MW windfarm being developed by Scottish and Southern Energy in the North Sea whichwould be the largest yet in the its waters (two others are 100MW and 120MW),and will be completed by 2013. The Dutch government has set a target of 6,000MWfrom offshore wind by 2020.


Boone Watch

T. Boone Pickensis back into the media spotlight this week after announcing a $60 million marketing plan to provide monthly updates to remind American’s what they are spending on foreign oil.

State and Federal Related Developments

Connecticut’s lawmakers are voting on Governor M. Jodi Rell’s plans to cut more than $25 million in funding from clean energy funds. Advocates say there is about 200 jobs in the state’s solar installation industry which may move to other states if the cuts were enacted.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a state target this week to generate 10% ofits electricity requirements from wind by 2020 – which would require installation of about 2,000MW of power. Currently, the state has installed capacity of 6.6MW. 

Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm is advocating for the government to invest more in R&D for auto-related alternative energy technologies including batteries for EVs. On Wednesday she signed legislation for $335 million in tax credits to develop advanced battery technology in Michigan.

Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine outlined a green-jobs initiative for Virginia which includes $2 million in grants to manufacturers, creating a $0.10 per gallon grant for producers of non-food based biofuels, and $0.075 per gallon grants for food-based biofuels (e.g., corn), creating an income-tax credit for green-energy system installers that could total $20,000 for businesses and $8,000 for indivi

duals, capped for the state at $1 million a year for individuals and $1 million a year for individuals, and exempting purchases of home energy systems like solar and wind from the state’s 5% sales tax.

Senator Russ Feingold introduced S. 223. – a bill to amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to further the adoption of technologies developed by theDepartment of Agriculture, to encourage small business partnerships in thedevelopment of energy through biorefineries, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

Senator Debbie Stabe now introduced  S. 224 – a billto promote economic recovery through green jobs and infrastructure, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


 Financing and M&A

Stanford University announced this week that it received $100 million to build a new energy institute that will be focused on renewable energy development and cutting U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Jay Precourt donated $50 million, Thomas Steyer and Kat Taylor donated $40 million, and $10 million was donatedby Douglas Kimmelman and Eric Schmidt.

Ener1 announced that it has received interim financing, keeping its operations a float, after it temporarily halted production in December due to lack of capital. The 40 million crown ($5.69 million) bridge loan was secured from Ener1 Group, aprivate equity firm and the largest shareholder of Ener1 Inc.

Starwood Energy Group Global acquired a majority stake in Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, a Chatham,N.J.-based solar power generation developer. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal includes a $50 million commitment for future Nautilus Solar projects.

Phoenix Solar Energy Investments AG acquired all of the shares of Scarlatti Srl., an Italian installation firm with plans to develop five projects in Sicily totaling about 27MW.

Lithium-ion battery developer Boston-Power Inc. raised $55 million in fourth-round funding.Foundation Asset Management led the round, and was joined by return backers Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.

A ChinaTechnology Development Group Corp. subsidiary  (Trenda Solar) secured a $36 million credit line through the Fujian branch of China Construction Bank to expand its thin-film PV manufacturing plant.

Fallbrook Technologies closed a $25.4 million round, led by NGEN III LP. Other investors included Robeco, the investment arm of Rabobank and Windstone Capital Partner

ReVolt Technology, a developer of rechargeable zinc-air batteries, closed a €10million B round from North Zone Ventures, Sintef, Soffinova Partners, TVM Capital, Verdane Capital, Viking Venture and RWE Innogy.

Acciona (ANA.MC)is reportedly getting closer to selling its 25% stake in Endesa to Enel(ENEI.MI), which has secured €11 billion ($14.58 billion) to make the purchase.


Upgrades & Downgrades

December 12 - Suntech (NYSE:STP) – Cowen lowering estimates, 2009/10E shipments to 630MW and 930MW (down from prior 750MW and 1,175MW); trimming ASPs to $3.05 and $2.75 respectively; reducing revenue targets; cutting gross margin and cutting EPS. Maintains OUTPERFORM.


December 12 - First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) – Cowen lowering estimates, 2009/10E shipments to 917MW and 1,365MW (down from prior1,045 and 1,522); trimming 2010 ASPs to €1.39; reducing revenue targets and reducing EPS. Maintains OUTPERFORM.


December 12 - Energy Conversion Devices (Nasdaq:ENER)  – Cowen lowering estimates, 2009/10E shipments of 146MW and 254MW (down from prior 151MW and278MW); trimming ASPs to $2.95 and $2.61; reducing revenue targets; cutting gross margin and cutting EPS. Maintains OUTPERFORM.


December 12 – China Sunergy (Nasdaq:CSUN)  – Cowen lowering estimates, 2009/10E shipments of 142MW and 219MW (down from prior 164MW and234MW); reducing revenue targets and E/ADS. Rating is NEUTRAL.


December 12 - Trina Solar (Nasdaq:TSL)  – Cowen lowering estimates, 2009/10E shipments of 270MW and 420MW (down from prior 375MW and 550MW); trimming ASPsto $2.99 and $2.65; reducing revenue targets; cutting gross margins and cutting E/ADS. A positive note is that “despite lower ASPs, vertical integration should permit TSL to take advantage of lower polysilicon costs.” Maintains OUTPERFORM.


December 12 – SunPower (Nasdaq:SPWRA) – Cowen lowering estimates, cut 2009/10E system sales to $765M and $1.23B (down from$1.0B and $1.35B); expect project finance delays to impact larger installs; lowered ASPs to $3.47 and $3.14; cutting production volume to 388MW and 593MW; reducing revenue targets; trimming gross margin and cutting EPS. Maintains OUTPERFORM.


December 12 - Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) –Cowen lowering estimates, cut 2009/10E shipments to 120MW and 200MW (down fromprior 134MW and 220MW); reducing revenue targets and cutting EPS. Rating at NEUTRAL.

January 12 –A-Power (Nasdaq:APWR) rated HOLD at Roth Capital with price target of $6. Rothhad previous rated APWR HOLD with a price target of $7 (12/29/08), $10 (11/20/08), at BUY with a price target of $35 (8/26/08) and  $30 (6/10/08).

January 13 –A-Power (Nasdaq:APWR) reiterated at BUY at Jesup & Lamont with price targetof  $14. Jesup & Lamont had previously rated APWR at BUY with a price target of $19 (11/20/08), $39 (7/24/08) and $25 (2/6/08). 2008EPS estimates are $0.77and FY09 EPS estimates are $1.92. Revenue estimates are $325.5 million and $756million respectively.

January 13 –First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) cut to HOLD from BUY at Citigroup with price target lowered to $170 from $205. 2009 EPS estimates were reduced to $6.78 from $6.80and 2010 EPS estimates were reduced to $8.88 from $10.35. Citigroup had rated FSLR at BUY in May, 2008 with a $450 price target.

January 14 – GTSolar (Nasdaq:SOLR) rated BUY at Kaufman Brothers with $7 price target.

January 14 – JASolar (Nasdaq:JASO) cut to NEUTRAL at AmTech with a price target of $4. 2009EPS estimates were cut to $0.46 from $0.57. For Q1, EPS estimates were cut to aloss of $0.02 from breakeven and revenue forecasts were cut to $125.9 millionfrom $203.1 million.

January 14 –Suntech (NYSE:STP) cut to NEUTRAL at AmTech with a $7 price target. Amtech had previously rated STP at BUY with $8 price target (11/26/08), a $14 price target (11/13/08) a $55 price target (5/23/08) and a $71 price target (2/21/08).

January 14 –Suntech (NYSE:STP) cut to UNDERPERFORM at Friedman Billings with price targetof $4. Friedman Billings had previously rated STP at HOLD with a price target of $42 (8/21/08), a target of $39 (7/7/08) and a target of $48 (2/21/08).

January 14 –Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) rated BUY at Lazard Capital with price target of $75. Lazard had previously rated ITRI at a BUY with a price target of $80 (10/21/08), and a price target of $115 (10/8/07).

January 14 –Canadian Solar (Nasdaq:CSIQ) cut to NEUTRAL at AmTech with a price target of $5. AmTech had previously rated CSIQ at BUY with a price target of $9 (11/14/08) and a price target of $23 (10/10/08).

January 15 –Ultralife Batteries (Nasdaq:ULBI) cut to HOLD at Collins Stewart. Collins Stewart had previously rated ULBI at BUY with a $12 price target (10/31/08).

January 15 –Comverge (Nasdaq:COMV) cut to SECTOR PERFORM at Pacific Crest.

January 15 –EnerNOC (Nasdaq:ENOC) rated SECTOR PERFORM at Pacific Crest.

January 16 – LDKSolar (NYSE:LDK) was raised to a HOLD from a SELL at Lazard Capital.

January 16 –Suntech (NYSE:STP) raised to BUY from HOLD at Lazard Capital with $14 price target.

Research & Reports

The U.S. Smart Grid Revolution: KEMA’s Perspectives for JobCreation.

Written by GridWise® Alliance member KEMA, Inc. The report estimates that up to 280,000 new jobs can be created directly from the deployment of Smart Grid technologies. In addition to the 280,000 direct jobs, the report notes that a smart grid could enable a substantial number of indirect jobs through the deployment of new technologies.

Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on theMid-Atlantic Region

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has released a report that discusses the impacts of sea-level rise on the physical characteristics of the coast, on coastal communities, and the habitats that depend on them. The report, Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region examines multiple opportunities for governments and coastal communities to plan for and adapt to rising sea levels.

Defining, Estimating and Forecasting the Renewable Energyand Energy Efficiency Industries in the U.S. and in Colorado

This report estimates and forecasts the RE&EE industries for the U.S. and Colorado, and the major contributions of the research summarized here include: Development of a rigorous definition of the RE and the EE industries ; Estimation of their current sizes and composition, including technology, sales, jobs, occupations, and skills ; and Forecasting their growth to 2030 under three scenarios (If the hyperlink does not work, the report can be found at


Geothermal Revenue Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005:  Income Distribution at Federal, State, and County Levels


In 2005, the Energy Policy Act mandated comprehensive changes to leasing and royalty policies to encourage geothermal energy use. Congress amended the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 modifying how royalties are calculated, how land is leased, and how Federal income from geothermal development is distributed. This paper examines trends in geothermal revenues, including distribution and use of the in comereceived by the federal government, since passage of the 2005 Energy PolicyAct, (Geothermal Energy Association). 




For U.S. biofuels companies, the new administration can’t get into office quick enough, and the buzz this week was around the potential for the Congress to add $1billion to a U.S. loan guarantee program for the construction of cellulosicethanol plants. The current program allows for $320 million, but the industryis asking for much more to help get cellulosic and next generation biofuels off the ground.

The group closed down 4% on the week, with China Clean Energy (CCGY.OB) leading the way, down 22%. Verenium (Nasdaq:VRNM) had a solid week, closing up 11% after assuring the markets that it would retain its Nasdaq listing and then announcing Florida’s first commercial cellulosic plant.

Energy management stocks came under pressure a bit this week on concerns that the Obama stimulus bill wouldn’t have any direct incentives for demand response. Pacific Crest’s Ben Schuman is one of the analysts quoted in the press as not being optimistic that any of the money being allocated to upgrading the grid is going to trickle down resulting in his down grade on Comverge (Nasdaq:COMV) to SECTOR PERFORM and maintaining Ener NOC a (Nasdaq:ENOC) at SECTOR PERFORM.

The energy storage group lost 7% this week with no companies in the group managing to close in positive territory, and despite positive news and developments comingfrom Quantum Fuel Systems (Nasdaq:QTWW) and Fuel Cell Energy (Nasdaq:FCEL).Ultralife (Nasdaq:ULBI) shed 16% after getting downgraded.

Geothermal stocks continue to suffer from bad optics much more than underlying fundamentals, in our opinion. Concerns persist about high cap ex on the front end of projects in a credit constrained global economy. Ormat (NYSE:ORA) was the out performer, losing only 3%.



The solar sector continues to get down graded by analysts citing concerns about inventory risk,margin compression, module oversupply, erosion in poly prices, delays in project financing and whether the legislative stimulus can compensate for all of these  pressures. The upstream group shed 9%, with only Tokuyama (4043.T) managing to stay in positive territory.


The notable out performer in the midstream group this week was Perfect energy (PFGY.OB) which gained 50% after announcing a 50MW sales contract and iterating a $170 millionbacklog. The stock opened up the week with an $11 million market cap, so it wasn’t a surprise seeing this week’s announcements breathe some life into the stock.



Composite Technology (CPTC.OB) was the only company to close in positive territory in the wind energy group, getting a boost announcing a transmission project order. Other companies having solid weeks, though it didn’t get reflected in the stock price were A-Power (Nasdaq:APWR) which got a much needed boost of validation in its announced JV deal with GE Drivetrain and Vestas (VEWI.DE) which sold more turbines.

About Aspire Clean Tech Communications, Inc.

Based in San Diego, Aspire Clean Tech Communications is dedicated to providing strategic consulting and communications services to businesses operating in the alternative energy and clean tech industries. Our commentary and outlook on the public markets and the alternative energy can be found on a daily basis at

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

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

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