Aspire Week in Review – Week Ended March 6, 2009

Mar 08, 2009
Author: Administrator

The DJIA closedat 6,626.94 on Friday, down 6% on the week, down 24% year-to-date and down 50%since the economists and ‘experts' acknowledged back in January, 2008 that theeconomy was in a recession. Alt Energy and Clean Tech stocks are not faring anybetter:

  • Biofuels group - lost 9% this week, and is down 37% YTD;
  • Energy Management group - lost 5% this week, and is down 17% YTD;
  • Energy Storage group - lost 16% this week and is down 26% YTD;
  • Geothermal group - lost 12% this week, and is down 13% YTD;
  • Upstream Solar group - lost 2% this week, and is down 24% YTD;
  • Midstream Solar group - lost 9% this week, and is down 38% YTD;
  • Downstream Solar group - lost 19% this week, and is down 27% YTD;
  • Solar Equipment/Systems group - lost 3% this week, and is down 13% YTD;
  • Wind Energy group - lost 7% this week, and is down 29% YTD. |

(Note: sector performance basedon our indices group - see below).

This is a mess, and at this point has got to have fully priced in slowdowns inprojects due to tight credit markets, and other sector-related challengesvarious groups are dealing with - pace oversupply in the solar group, orfeedstock price volatility in the biofuels group.

While the focusis clearly on the negative impact the global financial crisis is having on altenergy and clean tech projects getting off the ground, the facts are also thatthe industry is receiving unprecedented support on a local, state, regional,federal and international level. Governments around the world are planning oninvesting hundreds of billions in the next 10 years to establish greeninfrastructure and energy independence. Against this backdrop, the industry isnot going away, and in our opinion, it is going to flourish over the next 10 to20 years.

Technologieswill continue to evolve and alt energy sources will hit grid parity.Transmission infrastructure will get built which will make alt energy more accessible and pervasivelyconsumed. Storage solutions will continue to evolve and will get increasinglycost effective, making, amongst other things, the promise of the EV and PHEVindustry a reality. But from the mood on the Street, and judging by theperformance of alt energy and clean tech stocks, one would think the industryis going the way of AIG. No way.





The EU is expected to adopt,likely next week, the temporary anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs incidenton imports of US biodiesel. The tax will range from €29 to €41 per 100kg ofdiesel during an initial period of 6 months and may be extended by up to 5years.

Industryadvocates have been pressing for increasing the percentage of ethanol blendedin gasoline to 15% to 20% from the current 10%. General Motors responded thisweek in a letter to one of these advocates, Growth Energy, that more testing isneeded before the percentage of ethanol in gasoline gets increased.

With thecontinued support of the oil industry coming from Detroit, one would think folkslike Exxon should be stepping up with some bailout funds of its own. After all,Exxon said this week that it intends to invest up to $29 billion this year inprojects and up to $150 billion in the next five years. While General Motorshas already drawn down $13.4 billion in taxpayer funds and is expected to askfor another $16.6 billion.

Senator CharlesGrassley (R-Iowa) is pushing the administration to compelautomakers to increase their support for ethanol as a condition of its bailout.Last week Lisa Jackson of the EPA said it would take months before the EPA camedown with a decision whether it would support raising the ethanol blend. 

Emerson Electricis working with Range Fuels as the main automation contractor to bring acommercial cellulosic plant online. The plant will use timber and wood waste asfeedstock.

Changing WorldTechnologies, which owns the Renewable Environmental Solutions plant in Carthage,NY, filed Chapter 11. The plant had the annual capacity to convert 78,000 tonsof animal processing waste into 9 million gallons of diesel fuel.

And NovaBiosource (AMEX:NBF) received a notice of noncompliance with Section1003(a)(iv) of the NYSE Alternext US LLC Company Guide which requires that the company submit a plan ofcompliance by March 30, 2009 telling the Exchange how it is going to regaincompliance. If the plan it not accepted the company will be delisted. The stockclosed at $0.03 on Friday.


The cost ofhydrous ethanol fell for the third consecutive week in Sao Paulo, with a literbeing sold at R$0.7107 from the 25th until the 27th, down2.36% over the previous week. In the same period, anhydrous ethanol wasbasically flat at R$0.8280 per liter.

While the priceof ethanol at the consumer level increased slightly between February 22ndand 28th, with a liter being sold at R$1.537. The ethanol/gasolineratio in Brazil during the last week of February was 61.28%, compared to 61.22%the prior week.

Preliminary datafrom the Ministry of Development Industry and Trade shows that in February,Brazil's ethanol exports fell 67.5% compared to February 2008 and 38% fromJanuary this year. Shipments totaled 118.5 million liters.

ANPs 13thBiodiesel Auction was held on February 27th with 315 million litersbeing negotiated at a weighted average price of R$2.15 per liter. Petrobrasacquired 93.85% of the biofuel auctioned.

Brazil's BNDESstate development bank is going to loan 2.5 billion reais ($1.05 billion) toethanol producers to stockpile 3.3 billion liters (870.7 million gallons) ofethanol in order to support prices and adjust internal supply. Reference pricefor a liter of alcohol will be R$0.70, the ratio will be of 1.5 liters for eachliter financed with six months term in accordance with each company's plan.

BP is planningon investing between $5 billion and $6 billion in Brazilian ethanol projectswhich it will spend within the next 5 to 10 years.


Gushan (NYSE:GU)reported a 16% Y/Y increase in revenue to RMB 65.8 million ($46.2 million),with a net loss of RMB 37.7 million ($5.5 million), compared to a net loss ofRMB 19.8 million for the same period last year. Sales volume of biodieselincreased by 20.9% on a Y/Y basis, with the ASP decreasing by 0.2% over thesame period. Annual biodiesel production capacity increased by 100,000 tons(about 30 million gallons). For the FY08, revenue increase 48.4% Y/Y to RMB1,495.6 million and net income increase by 16.8% to RMB 269 million. Salesvolume of biodiesel increased by 26.5% to 231,377 tons, and the ASP increasedby 24.4%. In terms of outlook, the company expects to achieve total annualbiodiesel production capacity of 450,000 tons (about 135 million gallons) in2009.

Clean Technology, Carbon Reduction and ClimateChange

An interestingdeveloping storyline in the midst of the global economic and financial marketscrisis is whether the decline in industrial output and trade is showing up inreduced GHG emissions. Preliminary data from a US National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitoring station in Hawaii show CO2 levelsat 386.66ppm (parts per million) in January this year, compared with 385.16ppma year earlier and 382.62ppm in January 2007. Expectations are generally thatwe will see a slowdown in GHG growth, since global increases in GDP growth arewidely seen as a catalyst for CO2.

The EPA held a hearing thisweek to consider reversing the Bush-EPA's ruling to disallow California rightsto set its own emission standards. In addition to California, thirteenadditional states plus the District of Columbia want to adopt California'sstandards which would cut GHGs by 30% in new cars and trucks by 2016.

And EnergySecretary Steven Chu said that Yucca Mountain is no longer an option forlong-term nuclear waste storage. Unsurprisingly, GOP critics voiced theiropinions, lead by Senator McCain, who said the position taken by Chu and theObama administration would threaten the expansion of nuclear energy. Good. Withoutany viable long-term storage solutions (and Yucca in its present form was not),it makes no sense to think about expanding the industry. This is only ouropinion.

The coalindustry is also rethinking its strategy as it falls under increasing scrutinyof the Obama administration's EPA. This week White Pine Energy Associatespulled its application to built the White Pine Energy Station citing currenteconomic conditions and ‘increasing regulatory uncertainties' and also that itfocusing more of its internal resources on providing transmission solutions forboth renewable project developers and load serving entities.

Allegheny Energyannounced it finished installing a $37 million cooling tower and wastewatertreatment system at its Albright Power Station in West Virginia. The coolingtower is expected to reduce the amount of water it consumers by 93%. It is alsoinstalling sulfur dioxide scrubbers at its Fort Mountain Power Station andHatfield's Ferry Power Station.

Exxon, full ofinsight this week, said that a US carbon trading program would slow reductionin GHGs because volatility in carbon prices discourages anti-pollutioninvestments.

In the UK, PrimeMinister Gordon Brown said 400,000 new environmental sector jobs can be createdin the next eight years, with a total of 1.3 million employed in the sector by2017.


Fuel Tech(Nasdaq:FTEK) reported a 44% decline in revenues on a Y/Y basis to $18.1million, with a net loss of $0.6 million, or 0.2 per diluted share, comparedwith net income of $5.2 million last year. For the full year, revenues totaled$81.1 million, slightly higher than the $80.3 million posted last year, and netincome was $3.6 million, or $0.15 per dilute share, down from net income of$7.2 million last year. Management didn't provide guidance for FY09.

Energy Efficiency and Energy Management

ABI Researchreported that the number of "smart" electricity meters installed worldwide wasroughly 49 million in 2007, and is forecast to reach about 76 million thisyear.

Echelon(Nasdaq:ELON) launched the LonWorks® 2.0 platform. And EnerNOC (Nasdaq:ENOC)signed a 65MW demand response contract with Idaho Power.

Energy Storage

Japanese and EUofficials are meeting to discuss collaborative development efforts for advancedsolar cells and rechargeable batteries for EVs. On the battery side, the goalis to expand the range, which is currently around 150km with conventionalbatteries to as much as 500km.

ProtonexTechnology (PTX.L) received a $1.4 million contract from the US Army to adoptits solid oxide fuel cell power systems for operation of alternative fuels.


Ballard Power(Nasdaq:BLDP) reported a 6% decline in Q4 revenue to $18.9 million, and a netloss of $18 million, or $0.22 per share, compared with a net loss of $15.8million, or $0.14 per share for the same period last year. FY08 revenue was$59.5 million, down 9% from the prior year, and net income of $34 million, or$0.40 per share, compared with a net loss of $57.8 million, or $0.50 per sharefor the prior year.

EVs, Hybrids and PHEVs

Green CarCongress said that reported sales of light-duty hybrids in the US dropped 29%by volume in February year-on-year to 16,020 units. The decline in hybrids wasless than the 41% decline in the overall light-duty vehicle market for themonth. New hybrid sales represented 2.3% of the new vehicle market, essentiallyflat with the January 2009 results. In February 2008, hybrids held 1.9% of thenew vehicle sales for the month.

Ford's AlanMulally said this week that EVs will be a major portion of its lineup 10 yearsfrom now. At the Geneva Motor Show this week it presented its Tourneo which isdeveloped for European markets by Smith Electric Vehicles. Other EVs presentedat the show included Chrysler's Dodge Circuit EV, Toyota's FT-EV and Tata'sIndica Vista EV.

MagnaInternational and BRUSA Elektronik are jointly developing EV and PHEVapplications.

Porsche madeheadlines this week talking about its planned Cayenne S Hybrid which isexpected to increase mileage from 14mpg to 24mpg, reaching speeds of 86mph onelectric power.

And IntegrityManufacturing ran out of gas this week, unable to raise sufficient capital tokeep its doors open, it closed its doors. Most recent, the company was planningon building ZAP vehicles - but it appears from this week's headlines that ZAPofficials are doing what they can to distance themselves from Integrity'sproblems.

Advanced VehicleTechnologies

Fiatdemonstrated a two-cylinder engine that is reported to reduce fuel consumptionand carbon emission by up to 10%.


The U.S. DOEannounced two Funding Opportunity Announcements for up to $84 million tosupport the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems. The DOE anticipatesmaking 25 to 40 awards.


Brazilianconstruction company OAS committed March 5 to carry out construction of Peru's2,000-MW Inambari hydroelectric project in partnership with Brazil federalutility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras S/A.


In Australia,the government has initiated a new feed-in tariff in the Australian CapitalTerritories that will provide homeowners with 3.88x the current market rate fortheir solar electricity for 20 years - 50.05c/kWh for electricity produced bygrid connected systems up to 10kW and 40.04c/kWh for systems up to 30kWhcapacity.

In Italy,Valerio Natalizia, a board member of Italy's PV body GIFI, said this week thathe expects to see the impacts of the global financial crisis continue to weighon the country's solar industry, most immediately on larger projects whichrequire external financing. But he doesn't expect Italy to go the way of Spain,freezing the PV market after slashing incentives. The current limit forincentives is set at 1,200MW and is expected to be hit in 2010.

China Sunergy(Nasdaq:CSUN) announced an agreement with asola Advanced Solar System GmbH tosupply between 10MW and 30MW of cells through the remainder of 2009. 

First Solar(Nasdaq:FSLR) is purchasing solar projects and land rights from Opti-Solar inan all stock transaction valued at about $400 million. The news was met withmixed response by analysts (see Upgrades/Downgrades below).

Iberdrola SA(IBE.MC), Activades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS.MC) and Abengoa SA(ABG.MC) have been reportedly selected by Abu Dhabi to vie for a contract tobuild a 100MW solar plant in the emirate. The contract is estimated to be worth€320 million.

XsunX (XSNX.OB) iscutting back its manufacturing plans by two-thirds, citing "unanticipatedvolatility" in the financial markets. The company plans to reduce its budgetrequirements to about $13 million.




Downstream &Equipment

Colexon EnergyAG signed a partnership agreement with DCM Energy AG to complete the Wiesenhofroof-top portfolio and further develop at least 12MWp of solar projects throughthe end of 2010.

Gemini SolarDevelopment Co., a JV between Suntech (NYSE:STP) and MMA Renewable Ventures,was selected to build a 30MW solar plant for Austin Energy. The plant isexpected to be operational by the end of 2010. Gemini will own and operate theplant and will sell electricity to Austin Energy under a 25-year non-escalatingPPA. Suntech's solar panels will be used.

NationalSemiconductor announced a very cool new product (SolarMagic) which will enablesolar PV panels to recoup lost power due to temporary or partial shading by upto 57% of the lost power.

Parity Solar hasordered a turnkey 24MW Si-module production line from EnergoSolar, which willbegin being installed in Q3, 2009.

Silicon Genesissaid it has produced the first ever 20-µm-thick solar cell foil which combinesthe advantages of low poly utilization of thin-film with the high-efficiencypotential of mono s-Si.

Veeco issupplying Daiyang Metal with CIGS thin-film solar PV manufacturing tools.Daiyang's stated plan is to achieve 1GW of CIGS production by 2013.


Conergy(CGYG.DE) reported preliminary FY08 results with a net loss of €199 million($250.4). Management didn't provide any outlook for 2009.

Satcon(Nasdaq:SATC) reported Q4 revenue of $19.3 million, a 58% Y/Y increase, grossmargin of 24% and a net loss of $977,000, or $0.02 per share. For the year,revenue grew 49% to $62.5 million and net loss was $17.4 million, or $0.34 pershare, compared with a net loss in the prior year of $29.8 million.

Solaria saidprofit fell by 89% Y/Y to €5.5 million ($6.9 million) while sales fell 35% to€120.9 million.

Trina Solar(NYSE:TSL) reported 113.4% Y/Y revenue growth in Q4 to $216.3 million, grossmargin of 9.6% and a net loss of $0.7 million, or $0.03 per ADS. Earnings wereimpacted by a non-cash inventory provision of $17 million. Solar moduleshipments were 57.59MW for the quarter, a Y/Y increase of 140.9%. For the FY08,it reported a 175.6% Y/Y increase in revenue to $831.9 million, gross margin of$19.8% and net income of $61.4 million, or $2.37 per ADS. Solar moduleshipments for the year were 201.01MW, a Y/Y increase of 164.8%. In terms ofoutlook for 200, it is targeting module production between 350MW to 400MW for2009, and has current contracts in hand which will result in 300MW of shipmentsthis year already. In terms of R&D, it is targeting year end and cellefficiency goals of up to 18.5% and 17.5%, respectively, for itsmonocrystalline and multicrystalline product lines.


A-Power(Nasdaq:APWR) and GE Drivetrain Technologies signed agreements for GEDrivetrain to supply A-Power with 2.7MW gearboxes and to establish a JV for agearbox manufacturing plant in China.

BP Wind Energyannounced the start of full commercial operation of phase I of the Flat RidgeWind Farm in southern Kansa, which generates 100MW of electricity. The facilityis equally owned by Westar Energy and BP, with BP's share of electricity beingsold to Westar under a long-term PPA.

IberdrolaRenovables SA announced a contract to build and manage 103MW wind facility inMexico.

North Dakota hashired Deyton Bell Ltd. to recruit European wind energy companies to set up windturbine manufacturing operations in the state.

Siemens AG(NYSE:SI) signed an agreement to supply up to 500 offshore wind turbines with atotal capacity of up to 1800MW to Dong Energy.

Utility Driven News

Con Edison fielda proposal with the Public Service Commission for an 18-month solar energypilot program with homes and businesses, targeting 12MW of solar by 2011.

NV Energy isoffering cash incentives to farmers and ranchers to offset the cost ofinstalling wind or hydro power generating sources.

DOE Watch

The Departmentof Energy's (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory said this week that itintends to issue, on behalf of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, four (4)Funding Opportunity Announcements for improving techniques to clean or captureand store the emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrialsources (e.g., cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, etc.).The areas ofinterest include:

GeologicSequestration Training and Research

CarbonCapture and Sequestration (CCS) from Industrial Sources

SiteCharacterization of Promising Geologic Formations for CO2 Storage

Amendmentto Re-Open the FOA "Clean Coal Power Initiative - Round 3"


State and Federal Driven News

In Los Angeles,Measure B, a solar energy measure which would have amended the city charter toauthorize creation of an LA Department of Water and Power program to mandate atleast 400MW production of solar by 2014, was defeated.

Colorado'sSenate is considering Senate Bill 75, which would all EVs on state highwayswith speed limits of 35mph.

Montana's Senateis considering House Bills 207 and 208, which revise the RPS for the size ofprojects and revise the RPS for compliance dates for projects, extending themby 2 years, respectively.

In New Mexico,the House approved a bill that will enable home and commercial property ownersto use a special property tax assessment to repay a private loan for making asolar energy improvement. The measure will allow for financing solar powersystems over 20 to 25 years with relatively low loan payments.

Bills Introducedin the Senate:

Senator Tester (D-MON)and Senator Feinstein (D-CA) introduced S. 523. A bill to amend the EnergyPolicy Act of 2005 to establish pilot project offices to improve Federal permitcoordination for renewable energy; to the Committee on Energy and NaturalResources.

Senator Thune (R-S.D.)and Senator Schumer (D-NY) introduced  S. 527. A bill to amend the CleanAir Act to prohibit the issuance of permits under title V of that Act forcertain emissions from agricultural production; to the Committee on Environmentand Public Works.

Senator Bingaman(D-NM) and Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced S. 531. A bill to provide for the conduct of anin-depth analysis of the impact of energy development andproduction on the water resources of the United States, and for other purposes;to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "As population density continues to increase in already water-stressedregions, it is crucial that the United States develop new policies thatintegrate energy and water solutions so that one resource does not underminethe use of the other.... The two primary options for reducing gasolineuse--plug-in hybrids and biofuels--are both more water intensive than gasoline.By some estimates, plug-in hybrids consume three times more water per miletraveled than conventional gasoline vehicles. If the entire production cycle isconsidered, some biofuels can consume as much as 20 times more water per miletraveled. Three provisions of the bill attempt to highlight and further analyzethese issues: a National Academies study of water use in transportation fuelproduction and electricity generation; the development of power plant water useguidelines by the Department of Energy; and a directive to the Secretary ofEnergy to finalize an energy-water research and development roadmap to guidepolicy efforts in the future. Better data will lead to integration of waterconsiderations in the development of energy policy."

Senator Wyden(D-OR) introduced S. 536. A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to modify thedefinition of the term ``renewable biomass''; to the Committee on Environmentand Public Works.  "I rise today to introduce a bill that would allowwoody debris and plant material--or ``biomass''--from Federal lands to becomepart of the solution to America's energy problems and to create new economicopportunities to help sustain our rural communities. This legislation wouldamend the Clean Air Act to modify the definition of the term ``renewablebiomass'' contained in the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard so that biomass fromFederal lands is eligible as a fuel source under this standard."

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced S. 539. A bill to amend the FederalPower Act to require the President to designate certain geographical areas asnational renewable energy zones, and for other purposes; to the Committee onEnergy and Natural Resources." My legislation will require the President todesignate renewable energy zones with significant clean energy generatingpotential. Then, a massive planning effort will begin in all theinterconnection areas of the country to maximize the use of that renewablepotential by building new transmission capacity. The states would propose costallocation means to fund the new lines in the green transmission grid plans. Ifeither process falters, then the federal government would be given clearauthority to keep things moving and get the new transmission built on scheduleand funded equitably."

In the House

Representative John Larson (D-CT) introduced America's Energy SecurityTrust Fund Act of 2009, which proposes a carbon tax to reduce emissions. Thetax would take effect in 2009 and tax emissions at a rate of $15 per ton ofcarbon dioxide and increase by $10 each year (or $15 if needed). It would bevirtually revenue-neutral, with more than 95% of carbon tax revenues used tocut payroll taxes to help Americans with rising energy prices. Larson'sapproach calls for taxing carbon at the source, at oil refineries and coalmines, or shipping terminals for imported fuel. Under the proposal, a total of$100 billion over the first 10 years (about 3% of the revenue) would bededicated to tax breaks for clean energy and another $41 billion (about 1% ofthe revenue) would be used for transitional assistance to workers in industriesdirectly impacted by the carbon tax.

The Week Ahead

Ø     On Tuesday, March 10, the full committee will receivetestimony on S. 531, the Energy and Water Integration Act of2009.  Witnesses will include Carl Bauer, Director of the NationalEnergy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy; Stephen Bolze, president, GEPower & Water; Michael Webber, associate professor, The University of Texasat Austin; Peter Gleick, president, Pacific Institute, Oakland, CA; and LonHouse, president, Water and Energy Consulting, Cameron Park, CA.  (Dirksen 366 at 10:00 a.m.)

Ø     On Thursday, March 12, the full committee will hold a hearing on electricitytransmission.   Witnesses willinclude Jon Wellinghoff, acting chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Tony Clark, commissioner, North Dakota Public Service Commission; Reid Detchon, executive director, Energy Future Coalition;  JamesDickenson, managing director, JEA;  Joseph L. Welch,president, ITC Holdings Corp.;  Michael Morris, chairman, AmericanElectric Power; and Graham Edwards, actingpresident, Midwest ISO.  (Dirksen 366 at 9:30 a.m.)

Finance and M&A

Esolar is goingto license its technology to Acme Group to build solar plants in India. Acme ismaking a $30 million investment in Esolar in exchange for a 5% ownership stakeand the right to use its technology over the next 10 years. Plans are todevelop 1000MW of solar in the next 10 years.

Mitsubishi(6503.T) is buying a 34% stake in the world's largest solar plant (45.8MW) ineastern Portugal from Acciona (ANA.MC) for an undisclosed amount.

Yingli GreenEnergy (NYSE:YGE) said three of its subsidiaries received short-term loanstotaling RMB 420 million from domestic banks and a company affiliate. The loanswill be used for further expansion of PV production capacity and to begin polyproduction.

SunEdisonreceived $20 million in project financing from Union Bank, which will go to theinitial financing of a 1.7MW ground mount installation in Rifle, Colorado andanother system for which details haven't been disclosed.

Ormat (NYSE:ORA)said its subsidiary, OrPower 4, Inc. closed a $105 million long-term seniordebt financing for the 48MW Olkaria III geothermal project it is developing inKenya.

New Generation Biofuels(Nasdaq:NGBF) closed a $1.5 million private placement at $0.80 per share, withJesup & Lamont acting as the placement agent. In addition to each share ofcommon stock, investors received a warrant exercisable at $0.90 per share. Thecompany also exchanged new warrants at an exercise price of $1.00 per sharewith investors that participated in its 2008 private placement of Series BConvertible Preferred Stock.

Upgrades & Downgrades

  • March 3 - First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) price target raised to $190 at Thomas Weisel, with FY09 revenue estimates were raised to $1.867 billion.
  • March 3 - First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) rated HOLD at Citigroup, with price target cut to $130, with FY09 and FY10 EPS estimates cut to $6.16 and $8.25.
  • March 3 - First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) rated BUY at Lazard with price target of $145.
  • March 4 - First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) rated OUTPERFORM at Cowen & Company with guidance for 50% upside vs. the market in 12 months.
  • March 4 - Trina Solar (Nasdaq:TSL) rated OUTPERFORM at Cowen & Company, which said at current levels (0.5x book), the stock is attractive on a one-year horizon.
  • March 4 - Solarworld AG (SWVG.DE) was cut to UNDERWEIGHT at Morgan Stanley.
  • March 5 - LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) initiated at HOLD at Societe Generale with a $5 price target, EPS target of $2.66 this year and $1.76 in 2010.
  • March 5 - LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) cut to SELL from BUY at Gabelli & Co. with EPS target of a $0.50 loss this year, and $0.70 in 2010.
  • March 5 - Ballard Power (Nasdaq:BLDP) rated OUTPERFORM at BMO Capital Markets.
  • March 5 - Ballard Power (Nasdaq:BLDP) rated ACCUMULATE at Ardour Capital with a price target of 2.25.
  • March 6 - Gamesa (GTQ1.BE) cut to NEUTRAL from OVERWEIGHT at HSBC.
  • March 6 - Fuel Tech (Nasdaq:FTEK) rated BUY at Amtech Research with price target lowered to $11 from $14.


Research & Reports

TheTrue Cost of Solar Power: Race to $1/W

The 2nd edition of The True Cost of Solar Powerprovides detailed benchmarks of the cost structures that matter most for thesector and its companies through 2012. The central theme of the report is thatthe solar sector (overall) is racing toward $1/W cost levels in importantareas, but that many solar companies (specifically) risk breakdown.(Excerpt). Photon identifies 35 solar firms it thinks has the potential for verylow costs, including First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR), LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK), Q-Cells(QCE.DE), REC (REC.OL), SolarWorld (SWV.DE), SunPower (Nasdaq:SPWRA) and Yingli(NYSE:YGE).

Presentationsfrom Terrestrial Carbon Meetings Hosted by Energy Future Coalition

On March 3, the Energy Future Coalition hosted a meeting on TerrestrialCarbon.  The following presentations outline the opportunities of thisoverlooked resource. 

50 By 50- Global Fuel Economy Initiative

Transport will play a critical role in deliveringthe CO2 emissions cuts needed to meet global political climate change targets.The world's car fleet is expected to triple by 2050, with 80% of the growth inrapidly developing economies. At the same time the car manufacturing industryis facing huge difficulties in the economic recession. We have to find ways toreconcile legitimate aspirations for mobility, an ambitious reduction in CO2from cars worldwide, and global economic recovery. There are opportunities to combinesupport for the industry with measures to achieve governments environmental andenergy policy goals.

We believe that the findings of this report arehighly significant in addressing that challenge. A move across the global fleettowards far better fuel economy at a scale which is already technicallyachievable, could save over six billion barrels of oil per year by 2050, andcut close to half of CO2 emissions from cars, as well as generate significantlocal air pollution benefits - and all using existing, cost-effectivetechnologies. This is simply too good to ignore.(Excerpt from Forward).

Reducingthe Cost of Addressing Climate Change Through Energy Efficiency

A groupincluding Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy EfficientEconomy, Johnson Controls and the Environmental and Energy Study Institutepublished a report and consensus recommendations for future Federal climatelegislation in 2009. Amongst other things, the report calls for investment ofabout $15 to $20 billion each year for energy efficiency deployment programsand policies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, in additionto more than $6 billion each year needed for low-income energy efficiencyprograms, $8 billion for transportation policies and programs and $3 billionfor clean energy R&D. It calls for en energy efficiency resource standard,advanced building energy codes, DOE standards on appliance and equipment,extension and enhancement of federal tax incentives that promote energyefficiency, expansion of the Energy Star program, a federal inventive programto encourage retrofitting, and several other recommendations.

Aspire Indices Performance for the Week Ended March 6, 2009 






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