Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended January 9, 2009

Jan 09, 2009
Author: Administrator

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This was a week chalked withdiscussion on every legislative front, here in the U.S. and abroad, aboutstimulus plans and investment into one or another variety of a New Green Dealas a way of killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Unlike any othertime before, on a global

level governments from around the world have a freepass to dip into their budgets and spend in, as Obama puts it, in “bold” wayswhich are intended to create jobs and jump start economies. Alternative energyand clean technologies are lined up perfectly to be benefactors of thesespending plans and we are excited about the prospects. In addition to Obama’scampaigning this week, New Green Deals were advocated by Japan, Ireland andSouth Korea (see below). 

Also in thisweek’s newsletter, we were fortunate to hear from Rhone Resch, President of theSolar Energy Industry Association and to get some of his views on the state ofthe solar industry.

Aspire Speaks with SEIA’s Rhone Resch

Aspire: What surprised you about therenewable energy/clean tech markets in 2008? Were there any significant developments (political, technological, consumer-driven and/or industry-driven)that occurred which you weren’t anticipating? Please briefly explain.

Resch: Our biggest surprise came on Oct.3 when Congress finally passed an 8-year extension of the solar investment taxcredit, along with lifting the cap on residential solar electric systems. Thiswas after 17 votes in the House and Senate and a huge push by the industry overthe last two years. The irony, of course, is that the biggest policy supportfor solar came in the midst of an economic meltdown that has affected creditmarkets for all industries including renewable energy.

The next big surprise came on Oct. 13 when weopened our Solar Power International conference to a record-breaking 17,500industry attendees, 425 exhibitors and more than 5,000 interested people duringpublic night.

Aspire: Obama’s administration has set atarget of 10% of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025. In 2007, renewable energy’s contribution to total electricity generationin the U.S. was about .962 billion kWh per day, or about 8.4% of the total, andthe EIA projects that by 2009 it will contribute about 1.039 billion kWh perday, or about 9.1%. Excluding hydropower, renewable electricity in 2007represents only about 3% of installed electricity capacity and 2.5% of generationin the U.S. Do you think the 10% target is realistic by 2012 given the currentglobal financial crisis?

Resch: Solar energy is poised, alongwith other renewable sources, to help lead the U.S. economy out of thisfinancial crisis and easily make this target – if we establish the rightpolicies and make it a priority. Given the incoming Administration’s commitmentto invest in green jobs, stimulate the economy and take responsibility for our environment, this could not be a better time for the solar energy industry. Solar technology is ready now, can be deployed quickly in flexible ways on rooftops and land, and is overwhelmingly supported by the American public. And, we’ll be putting tens of thousands of construction workers, electricians, plumbers and manufacturing crews back to work.

Aspire: And where do you see the biggestcontribution to reaching this target in terms of renewable energy sources?

Resch: We see solar increasing at thegreatest rate of deployment. We are aiming for 12.5 percent of electricitycoming from solar by 2025. How do weachieve this aggressive goal? See “Policy Priorities for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress” at of page).

Aspire: The Energy Information Administrationis forecasting growth in renewable energy’s contribution to total U.S.electricity generation from 2007 to 2008 to grow from .962 billion kWh per dayto 1.034 billion kWh per day, which represents 7.4% growth, with only the electric power sector demonstrating any growth, and the commercial and industrial sectors remaining flat (see Table 1 below).

Do you agree with the EIA’s assessment/forecast, and what are the primary factors that you think contributeto the growth, or lack thereof, in each of these sectors?

Resch: We feel the EIA forecast is conservative and does not consider the recently passed solar incentives nor the momentum driven by state policies, continued cost reductions, and expanding manufacturing. Installation of solar capacity increased more than 45 percent in2007 compared to 2006 and the industry grew at a compound annual growth rate of 44 percent in 2007. Several commercial projects came online in 2008 as well. Estimates from the California Solar Initiative indicate that 2008 installed newsolar capacity doubled that of 2007 installed solar.

Aspire: The November 13threlease on behalf of the Renewable Energy Industries (SEIA, AWEA, GEA and NHA) highlighted top renewable energy-related priorities for the Obama Administrationand the 111th Congress. In October, at the Piper Jaffray Solar Symposium, you had alluded to a “Big Ask” which you, and several other industry leaders and representatives would be putting forward to Congress. Was the November 13th release a synopsis of the “Big Ask”?

Resch: We released our board’s policy priorities on Dec. 3. We revised the priorities slightly to reflect feedback from the Obama transition team to focus on top items that will drive the most immediate economic impact especially in creating jobs as part of an economic stimulus package that could be passed in January.  We also have other near-term priorities for a 2009 energy bill to reach our goal of supplying 12.5 percent of electricity from solar energy. 

See list at:

Aspire: And can you elaborate further asto how optimistic you are that the incoming administration and Congress will respond positively to the renewable industry’s set of recommended priorities

Resch: We are very optimistic that thenew Administration and 111th Congress will institute more pro-solarpolicies and in turn the solar industry will continue its exponential growth and positive economic impact.

Aspire: Solar/PV costs between 21 and 38 cents per kWh to produce. We are still a ways off from reaching grid parity.When do you think that happens?

Resch: Most industry experts think solarwill reach grid-parity by 2016. It may happen sooner if the U.S. imposes a coston carbon emissions and recognizes solar as a pollution-free source ofabundant, domestic energy.

Aspire: And do you think this will be the key inflection point that will need to be reached to see solar production and consumption become a more significant part of the U.S. (and global) energy pie? What are other key factors?

Resch: Concern about the environment, domestic energy supplies, energy security and independence are all factors.

Aspire: Concentrated solar electricity costs between 12 and 17 cents to produce. We saw CSP plants coming back online beginning in 2006 (prior to that there was a 17-year lapse in domestic CSP deployment). Nameplate capacity for CSP increased by 18% in 2007 from 2006. Do you expect it to close the gap going forward with solar/PV, which increased nameplate capacity by 40.1% over the same period? What are the factors that make CSP compelling and competitive?

Resch: We know of 21 CSP plant projectsin the pipeline that would deploy more than 5,000 megawatts of capacity. We now have the 8-year tax credit. Now we need stable financing sources.

Aspire: And what are the challenges, in your opinion?

Resch: Financing for large projects,updating our transmission grid infrastructure and completing BLM programmatic environmental impact study (PEIS) so that land applications can be processed.

Aspire: Conventional views in the industry expect polysilicon prices to plunge this next year with all of the new production coming online which will help supplies double while demand is only expected to increase about 30% to 40%. As a result, manufacturers of poly will see margins erode. Meanwhile, expectations are also for module over supply to create ASP erosion in the midstream channel. At some point, shouldn’t all of this price erosion ultimately benefit the end consumer and stimulate demand?

Resch: Yes, it should. But we cannot forecast when.

Aspire: Some industry experts andanalysts have lowered their expectations for solar growth in 2009 based on lower demand as a result of less government support in Europe. How big of an impact do you think that will have on overall growth, and to what extent do you think renewed support in Japan, as well as increasing legislative support in the U.S. will off set the situation in Europe? 

Resch: U.S. has opportunity to absorbthis supply if we have the right policies and financing.

Aspire: What are the key issues, challenges and opportunities that you see storage playing in the progression of solar energy as a more meaningful energy source in the overall energy ecosystem?

Resch: Solar can contribute exponentially now. Improved storage for CSP and PV systems will extend peak coverage.

Aspire: From a legislative perspective, how likely do you think it is that the incoming administration and Congress will pass a Federal RPS in 2009, and what do you think the implications would be for solar? 

Resch: There certainly is momentum for an RPS. We believe it should include a solar carve-out.

Biofuels and Biomass

The Renewable Fuels Association has submitted a proposal to the Obama transition team asking for $50 billion in loan guarantees and $1 billion in immediate credit to support on going operations.

First United Ethanol shut down its 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant in south Georgia for a week after an accident on Tuesday.

The Husker Agethanol plant near Plainview, Nebraska - which produces about 75 million gallons of denatured ethanol - suspended operations, reporting net losses of $6 million through October, 2008. The company intends to restart operations by the end of January.

And Pacific Ethanol (Nasdaq:PEIX) said it is temporarily suspending operations at its 40million gallon per year Madera, California facility – beginning January 12.

Provista Renewable Fuels Marketing entered into an agreement with Riverland Biofuels to exclusively market the plant’s 38-million-gallon annual ethanol production.

Greenwashing the Skies or are Biofuels in the Air a Realistic Target?

Continental Airlines is the latest to announce plans to demonstrate the use of biofuels to fly passenger planes. Air New Zealand just announced a successful biofuel flight and Japan Airlines is going to be conducting its own test flight late this month. The Continental flight this week involved a special blend of algae, jatropha weed, and jet fuel.

There are plentyof critics, which sympathetic with the idea of fueling air traffic around the world with biofuels but think the prospects are way further off than are currently being promoted or acknowledged by airlines getting good, green pressout of the demo-flights. Virgin’s recent Boeing 747 which flew from London to Amsterdam with one of four tanks carrying a 20% biofuel mix used a mixture of coconut and babassu oils. The flight, if made entirely on biofuel would have required about 3 million coconuts, says Jeff Gazzard, of the Aviation Environment Federation.


The European Commission and Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology have announced a call for projects under their collaboration to the development of second generation biofuels with provisional funding of €4 million.

Odebrecht,Sonangol and Damer are expected to open a 4,000 hectare sugar cane plantation, called Biocom, which will produce 250,000 tons of sugar, 30,000 cubic meters of ethanol and 160,000 MW of energy from burning waste from the production processon an annual basis, starting in 2012.

Carbon Reduction and Clean Tech

New Carbon Finance reported this week that the carbon market in 2008 was worth $118 billion, representing 4 billion tons of carbon allowances traded, and a 42% Y/Y increase in trading activity and an 84% increase in market value.

The recently formed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s December 17 emission allowance auction included 69 bidders for nearly 3.5 times the number of available allowances. The auction, which saw a clearing price of $3.38/ allowance, raised $106.5 million dollars for use by the RGGI states which will be used for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Alfa Laval AB received an SEK95m order from an unnamed power plant operator in the U.S for Alfa Laval Packinox plate heat exchangers for an integrated gasification combined cycle plant which will be used in a process to clean synthetic fuel gas made from coal.

Clean Diesel Technologies (Nasdaq:CDTI) licensed its Advanced Reagent Injector System® technology to Eaton Corporation for injection of hydrocarbon fuel in emissions reduction applications including Eaton’s After treatment system.

Ireland’s Sustainable Development Commission is advocating a program to implement carbon emissions standards for new coal and gas fired plants that would effectively ban all new plants from being built without capture and storage (CCS) capability.

Green Shift received a grant of $375,000 to further development of its algae bioreactor.The funding came through the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization.The CO2 bioreactor uses thermophillic cyanobacteria to consumer carbon dioxideemissions.

EU Power at Risk?

German utility RWE Power criticized the EU’s recent agreement to cut emissions by 20% over1990 levels by 2020 and its commitment to increase this cut by 30% contingent on an international climate agreement being secured at UN talks in 2009. RWE said the agreement is harsh on coal, which is still indispensable and that full auctioning of emission allowances will undermine coal production and contribution to the EU’s energy markets. In addition, it said the current EU plan will dis-incentivize further investment into modern coal-fired plants which will result in keeping older plants which produce higher GHGs on the grid. 

Energy Storage

A123 Systems applied for $1.84 billion in funding from the DOE to support its constructionof new lithium ion battery manufacturing plants in the U.S. The funding would enable A123 to expand production capacity in the U.S. ramping production volume to supply battery systems for 5 million hybrid vehicles, or a half million PHEVs per year by 2013. The facility would create more than 7,000 jobs – and the first plant would be in Michigan.

Maxwell (Nasdaq:MXWL) received a contract for the purchase of 460 16-volt ultracapacitor modules from Vanner, Inc. The ultracapacitors will be used to retrofit 460 buses at the Chicago Transport Authority resulting in lower emissions, and improved fuel efficiency. Maxwell touts 30% improved efficiencyin winter months.


Energy Efficiency, Energy Management, Smart Grid and Transmission

American Superconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) received its first order for a D-VAR system for a220 kilovolt power transmission grid in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China, and italso received an order for the D-VAR system from Basin Electric Power Cooperative, one of the largest electric generation and transmission cooperatives in the U.S.

Ener NOC (Nasdaq:ENOC) signed a 3-year, 50MW contract to supply demand response capacity to the Salt River Project.

California state renewable energy experts are meeting tomorrow in Palm Desert for a Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative to discuss, amongst other things 37 zones across the state that have been identified as key locations for future solar and wind development.

The World Bank released US $88 million to fund construction of transmission lines to carry power from Mozambique's 2,040-MW Cahora Bassa hydroelectric project to Malawi.

BPL Global signed a five-year modern grid contract in partnership with BPL Africa, with Ghana's national utility, the Volta River Authority. The agreement implements smart grid technologies and broadband-over-power line (BPL) communications technologyon the 11kV power distribution network of the Volta River Authority (VRA).

 EVs, Hybrid and PHEVs

Detroit’s upcoming auto show is featuring a 70,000 square-foot track to feature electric cars from Fisker Automotive, Tesla, China’s BYD Auto Company, GM, Ford Motor Company, Mitsubishi and others. Ford is expected to deliver its highly anticipated plans for electric vehicle development for the next couple years at the show.

Aptera miss edits deadline to reveal its first production vehicle and has told investors that the vehicles won’t b e delivered in volume until late 2009.

Lotus has been creating a buzz in the EV market lately with reports that it is developing a high performance electric sports car to rival Tesla and Fisker Automotive. An interesting wrinkle here is that Lotus helped Tesla develop its Roadster and builds the rolling chassis for the car.

Mitsubishi Motors said this week that it may build EVs for Peugeot, increasing productionof its iMiEVs to more than 10,000 vehicles by 2011.

RTEV applied for $15 million in low-interest loans to buoy its development of next-generation U.S. fuel-efficient vehicles. And Integrity Automotive is applying for a $200 million loan from the government to help its production plans for ZAP electric vehicles.

Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reported this week that 5,042 hybrid cars were sold in 2008, up 2% over 2007, accounting for 0.5% of total vehicles sold across the country.


Enel North American acquired five Bureau of Land Management land leases which contain 13,262 acres in Millard County, Utah where it will develop geothermal projects.Enel reportedly has more than 810MW of installed geothermal power.

Reuters reported that Mitsubishi Materials Corp., J-Power, planning on investing about 40billion yen ($433.9 million) to build a plant in Yuzawa, Japan, which is expected to generate about 60MW of power and will begin operating by 2016.


A Canadian environmental panel has concluded the 100-MW Dunvegan hydroelectric project on Alberta's Peace River is in the public interest and unlikely to significantly affect the environment.

Peru's Ministerio de Energia y Minas granted a concession to Empresa de Generacion Electrica to perform a feasibility study of the 163-MW Curibamba hydroelectric project in Junin Department.

China Three Gorges Project Corp. closed the Jinsha River, upstream of the Yangtze, to build a dam for China's fourth largest hydropower project, 6,000-MW Xiangjiaba.

Israel’s Solel Boneh International signed a contract to plan and construct the 85-MW Palo Viejo hydroelectric project in Guatemala.


Evergreen Solar (Nasaq:ESLR) closed its Marlboro facility and will incur up to $30.4 million in related costs. And Intel spinoff Spectrawatt stopped construction on its Oregon manufacturing facility citing financing difficulties. Management intends to look for another plant location and intends to maintain its target production capacity of 60MW.

Emcore (Nasdaq:EMKR) announced a planned workforce reduction to lower operating costs.Heliovolt cut 15 jobs, citing weak economic conditions and its shift away from pure research and towards a manufacturing focus. It plans to begin production this year at its 20MW capacity plant in Austin, Texas. Day4 Energy is cutting about 95 jobs in an effort to improve its cost structure.

JA Solar (Nasdaq:JASO) signed a supply deal for up to 60MW with Solar Power, Inc. (OTCBB:SOPW). Delivery is schedule for 2009. And Yingli Green energy singed a 15MW contract with GOLDBECK Solar GmbH for 2009. GOLDBECK has the right to purchase up to an additional 58MW of PV modules from Yingli in 2009.

Sharp is accelerating planned production of its thin-film plant in Osaka Perfecture, Japan with production to start at 1GW capacity.

Suntech (NYSE:STP) said it has reached its 2008 target of 1GW in solar cell and module capacity. It plans to hold at 1GW capacity through 2009.

China offered cooperative partnership for developing and manufacturing solar energy equipment in Pakistan to help address the country’s power shortages. China is also offering financial aid of 2 billion yuan ($291 million) to facilitate consolidation in its solar industry amongst the over crowded market. There are currently 145-150 wafer manufacturers in the country.

Meanwhile, more entrants into the market – Guangdong Chesing Champion Electronic, a lead-acidbattery maker, recently announced it is planning to invest RMB 220 million ($32.2 million) to expand into the solar business. It plans to build a 5MW solar plant in the Shaanxi province and intends to establish a 20MW capacity manufacturing line for amorphous solar cells.

Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister has granted the country’s first licenses to build and operate PV and solar thermal plants to  Arava Power (4.9MW solar plant) and Edig Solar (100kW solarthermal plant).

Downstream &Equipment

Castle &Cooke completed building the 1.2MW La Ola Solar Farm on the island of Lanai, which is expected to supply up to 30% of its electricity. The $19 million project is the largest single-site solar farm on Lanai. The solar panels were supplied by SunPower (Nasdaq:SPWR).

Tokyo Electron, the world’s No. 2 chip equipment maker, said orders for gears used to make solar panels fell 98% to 500 million yen in the October-December period.

The juwi group announced the completion of the 40MW Waldepolenz energy park in eastern Germany.

Long Island Power Authority expanded its residential Solar Pioneer program to provide incentives up to $14.4 million.

Meyer Burger announced a CHF40 million order from SolarWorld (SWV.DE) for wire saws to be shipped in the from the Q2 of 2009 through the end of 2010.

Solar Power,Inc. (OTCBB:SOPW) announced a sale of 200MW of panels to German integrator VDE Laboratories. Spire (Nasdaq:SPIR) received another contract from Solara, this time to supply a 100MW production line.

Sun Edison and Developers Diversified Realty announced plans to deploy PV systems on rooftops at shopping centers managed by DDR, with the potential capacity running up to 259MW covering up to 30 million square feet.

Sunrise Solar(OTCBB:SSLR) announced it has been selected to provide solar power resources to four major hospitals in Brazil.

Toshiba is entering the PV business, announcing plans to service the industrial market building PV power plants through its Transmission, Distribution and Industrial Systems business unit.

World Water & Solar Technologies Corp. (OTCBB:WWAT) completed the installation of a 1.1MW solar power system for the Valley Center Municipal Water District of Valley Center, California. The system was financed, and will be owned and operated by Solar Power Partners, inc. Under the terms of a PPA which funded the project, VCMWD will purchase the generated power from SPP for the 25-year life of the agreement. Sharp Solar (6753.T) supplied the panels, and Xantrex Technology provided the inverters.


LDK Solar (Nasdaq:LDK) cut Q4 estimates for revenue to a range of $425 million to $435 million, from previous guidance of $555 to $565 million, based on revised estimates of 245 to 255MW of wafer shipments and gross margins of 10% to 13%, down from guided shipments in a range of 260 to 270 MW and gross margins of 18% to 21%. Management also guided lower for 2009 revenue to a range of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion with gross margins estimated to be in a range of 22% to 27%. Previous 2009 guidance was for a range of $2.9 to $3.1 billion.

Water, Tidal Power and Sustainability

NHPC Ltd has invited global tenders for the implementation of the 3x1.25 MW Durgaduani minitidal power project in the Sundarbans in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

Perdue signed anagreement with the EPA committing to providing training and other assistance to its chicken producers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations,with a focus on water quality.

Prime MinisterJustin Madden approved the $3.1b Wonthaggi desal plant on the Victorian coast. And Greece’s Ministry of Agriculture announced plans to build a second floating desalination unit on existing infrastructure off its Yermasoyia coast.  The desalination unit will start operating in June, pumping between 20,000 and 50,000m³ of water.

Mesogios began construction work on a desalination plant in the Cyprus, which is expected to deliver about 20,000m³ of water. Construction will cost €8.5 million and the Paphos Water Development Department will pay Mesogios €20 million for water over three years, while customers will pay about €1.65/cu.m.



A recent MIT TechnologyReview article discusses how Yale University researchers have developed away to reduce the amount of energy needed to purify water, as well as lower the cost of the process. Their company, dubbed Oasys, uses engineered osmosis instead of heat or pressure. It also uses a reusable solution of ammonia and carbon dioxide gases for the desalination.


Never mind the challenging economic conditions creating tight credit markets and delays for wind projects, and the bats which have been menacing turbines in the Midwest and Southwest, UFOs are apparently getting into the mix. Ecotricity is looking into a mangled wind turbine in the UK where speculation about an unidentifiedflying object being responsible is actually being floated. A single Enercon 65foot-long turbine looks like it snapped. Suzlon has also had some quality control issues.

Governor Donald Carcieri (RI) said this week that Deepwater Wind plans to begin construction in 2010 on a $1.5 billion off shore wind farm which would generate about 15% of the state’s energy consumption, or roughly 1.3 million MWh. 

AAER shipped its first wind turbine from its Quebec plant, a 1.5MW turbine sold to the U.S.Marine Corps Logistics base in Barstow, California.

Horizon Wind Energy announced commercial operation of the 201MW Meridian Way Wind Farm(Kansas), the 102.9MW Rattlesnake Road Wind Farm (Oregon) and the first 201.3MW phase of the Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm (Iowa).

Otter Tail’s(Nasdaq:OTTR) wind tower unit, DMI, said it is cutting about 20% of its workforce citing declining demand from developers due to tougher financing conditions for projects.

Wind turbine maker REpower’s Per Hornung said this week that he hasn’t seen any customers cancel orders or ask for later delivery dates. Suzlon (SUZLON.NS) owns about 77% of REpower and is expanding that ownership to 91%.

State and Federal Driven Clean Tech News

As economic conditions worsened in the U.S., Obama persistently pounded the table on the need for a massive stimulus package and much of the conversation has been focused on improving energy efficiency and green infrastructure investing –doubling production of alternative energy in the next three years.


·    The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and The Real Estate Roundtable are advocating a recommendation for $3 billion in energy efficiency incentives for the private sector and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is asking for $15 billionfor green schools and additional money for the creation of a green building loan fund.


11 states,including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont have agreed this week to a low carbon fuel standard to reduce GHGs.

Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley (D) introduced a bill to extend the wind energy production tax credit until 2017. The current credit which provides a 2.1-cent incentive per kWp, extended in October, is set to expire at the end of 2009.

New YorkGovernor David Patersonpledged to meet 45% of the state’s electricity requirements through energy efficiency and renewable sources. The ’45 by 15’ goal intends to create 50,000 new jobs. He also announced an initiative on hybrid car production and research.


The National Resources Defense Council amassed a historical timeline, or indictment of the Bush administration and its legacy on the environment – click here.


Japan’s environmental ministry said it is planning to expand its “green business” market and create up to 1 million new jobs in an effort to fight climate change and stimulate its economy. The country had already planned to expand its green business market, adding 2.2 million jobs by 2020, but it is talking about moving targets forward.

Ireland’s Minister of Finance Brian Cowen discussed plans to implement a new‘green deal’ for Ireland which will create green jobs and support the development of environmentally-friendly industry. Energy efficiency will be key to the strategy which also has the goal of 40% of Ireland’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

South Korea said this week it is investing 50 trillion won ($38.1 billion) over the next four years on environmental projectsin a “Green New Deal” to stimulate its economy.

Finance & M&A

Fuel Tech (Nasdaq:FTEK) completed its acquisition of Advanced Combustion Technology forabout $22 million plus performance-based contingent payments.

Yingli GreenEnergy (NYSE:YGE) completed its acquisition of Cyber Power Group Limited which will be Yingli’s entrée into the polysilicon manufacturing business. Yinglipaid $77.6 million.

Zea Chem raised $34 million in a B Round of funding co-led by Globespan Capital Partners and PrairieGold Venture Partners with a follow-on investment by MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, Firelake Capital and Valero Energy Corporation. The funds will be used to build ZeaChem’s first cellulosic bio refinery.

AES Solar Energy closed a €70 million non-recourse debt facility for five of its eight Spain-based PV projects.

Super protonic, asolid acid fuel cell technology company raised more than $8 million in C Roundfunding from CMEA Ventures, On Point Technologies, Nth Power, Statoil Hydro Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners.

CFX BatteryInc., a developer of primary and rechargeable batteries enabled by nanotechnology raised $11 million in a $15.18 million A round from CMEA Ventures, Harris & Harris, and U.S. Venture Partners.

Terra-Gen PowerLLC acquired a portfolio of six wind projects from Airstream Energy which arelocated in Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. When fully developed, the projects are expected to generate about 2500MW of energy.

Sentilla Corp., a provider of demand-side energy management solutions for commercial and industrial facilities, raised $7.5 million in a Series B round co-led by Onset Ventures and Claremont Creek Ventures.

Ormat (NYSE:ORA) received a $105 million 10-year loan for its 48MW Olkaria III geothermal project in Kenya.

EMCORE (Nasdaq:EMKR) said it sold 1,446,428 shares of World Water (OTCBB:WWAT) Series D Preferred Stock and 152,522 Warrants to purchase shares of Series D Convertible Preferred Stock to the Quercus Trust for about $5.7 million, and expects to close an addition $5.7 million within the next 90 days.

Sol Focus Inc. raised $47.5 million in Series C round led by Apex Venture Partners, and  joined by New Enterprise Associates and NGEN Partners. It had previously raised nearly $100 million.

Upgrades & Downgrades

December 6 –Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) rated HOLD at JP Morgan

December 6 –Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) rated BUY at Merriman Curhan Ford

December 6 –Echelon (Nasdaq:ELON) rated HOLD at Merriman Curhan Ford

December 6 –Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq:ESLR) maintained at “MARKET WEIGHT” at Thomas Weisel.

December 8 –MEMC (NYSE:WFR) downgraded to MARKET PERFORM at Friedman Billings with price target of $21. Friedman previously rated WFR at BUY with $25 price target (12/18/08), a $30 price target (11/18/08), an $80 price target (7/24/08) and a$100 price target 10/29/07.

December 8 –American Superconductor (Nasdaq:AMSC) rated HOLD at Stanford Research with a price target of $16. Stanford had previously rated AMSC at HOLD with $15 price target (10/9/08).

December 9 –EnerNOC (Nasdaq:ENOC) rated UNDERPERFORM at Jeffries & Company with a price target of $8. Jeffries had previously rated ENOC at HOLD with price target of $18 (2/28/08) BUY with price target of $54 (12/5/07), and HOLD with price target of $42 (6/27/07).

Research and Reports

The2030 Challenge Stimulus Plan – Transition Team Brief (Published byArchitecture 2030)

Because investing in energy efficiency in buildings is the most effective way to create jobs and revive the economy (see Justification),Architecture 2030 recommends an investment of $171.72 billion ($85.86 billioneach year for two years) in a plan that integrates a housing mortgage buy-downand an accelerated-depreciation program for commercial buildings with energy efficiency in buildings, specifically with the widely adopted energy reductionplan called the 2030 Challenge1. This investment will create 3.75 million direct jobs in the Building Sector, as well as 4.34 million indirect and induced jobs and over 350,000 jobs from consumer spending.




 Click Here ForMore Info.



Aspire Clean Tech Group Indices for Week Ended January 9, 2009








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