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Union Atlantic Capital, L.C. Announces Investment Opinion on ZAPWORLD.COM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.–Nov. 14, 2000–Union Atlantic Capital, L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of vFinance.com (OTCBB:VFIN), announced today it has initiated research coverage on ZAPWORLD.COM (Nasdaq:ZAPP) with a “BUY” rating. California-based ZAPWORLD.COM is a leader in the design, production and marketing of electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and other electric transportation products. Union Atlantic Capital’s analyst, Nicole S. Mager, cited ZAPWORLD.COM’s potential for an increased product order backlog, revenue growth, rapid expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) industry and patented technology as the main reasons for the rating. Union Atlantic Capital, L.C. will offer the research report for free at http://www.ualc.com starting on November 13, 2000. The United States EV market will grow at an impressive rate of 27 percent annually through 2005, when it will become a $7 billion industry, according to a research study by Business Communications Co., Inc. “ZAPWORLD.COM is still an undiscovered public “pure play” company in the fast growing, government-mandated industry of electric vehicles,” Mager said. “The Company has a record of revenue growth and a strong cash position. Combine this with its twelve patents in the EV field as well as the projected growth of the market, and you have a company that is uniquely positioned to significantly increase its product order backlog and is poised for upward movement.” About UALC: Union Atlantic Capital, L.C. (a NASD member firm) is a wholly owned subsidiary of vFinance.com (OTCBB:VFIN). Union Atlantic Capital, L.C. is a full service Investment Banking firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Atlanta, Ga., specializing in mergers & acquisitions and private placements in both private and public companies. Mailto: raisemoney@ualc.com. About Zapworld.com: Zapworld.com is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and other electric transportation products. Since 1994, ZAP(R) (Zero Air Pollution(R)) has “ZAPPED” thousands of commuters and recreational cyclists in almost every part of the world. ZAP’s fun, innovative and affordable products have pioneered a new niche in personal transportation. For more information please visit www.zapworld.com. Please call Joshua Glanzer at 305/702-7027 ext. 204 or email josh@vfinance.com for more information. Photos are available on request. Contact Alex Campbell at 707/824-4150 or email alex@zapworld.com for information on Zapworld.com.

Utilities Are Embracing Green Energy Programs

A new report from FT Energy provides utilities with marketing strategies for green energy programs.

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 13 — Just six years ago there was no such thing as green pricing — the concept of selling renewable energy at a premium. Today, there are at least 100 different utilities in North America offering green energy products in both regulated and restructured energy markets. Some green pricing programs have done phenomenally well — selling out their green capacity and acquiring long waiting lists for more — while others have floundered. A just-released report documents the keys to success — and failure — for green energy programs. In the latest of a series of reports on how to successfully sell green energy, E Source (a trademark of FT Energy) shares the most effective program design points for utilities selling green energy in regulated markets. In “Making Green Electricity Programs Work: The Experts Speak Out,” E Source researcher Dr. Paul Komor presents a concise compilation of recommendations culled from years of watching the market develop as well as from numerous interviews conducted specifically for this report. ‘This report could not have been written 12 or 15 months ago,” according to Komor, “because the experience base just wasn’t out there yet. Now, having watched some green energy programs sign up tens of thousands of customers, while other programs languish, we were able to draw some useful conclusions about differences between these programs.” Findings include: — On average, utilities should expect to pay $30 to $70 per residential customer sign-up. Most North American programs are currently seeing 1 to 5 percent of their residential customers participating, but most of these programs are also running low on green capacity and therefore have cut way back on their marketing. — Bill stuffers and bang tails (the tear-off forms on return envelopes) work well for getting the first round of sign-ups. More important, they provide intelligence on who is signing up, allowing you to go back and target those segments with direct mail or other targeted marketing techniques. It’s therefore essential — before the bills are sent out — to set up databases to track and assess who responds to the first round of mailings. — Partnerships with environmental groups add credibility, provide access to potential buyers, and can help with program design. Failing to get their support can lead to fatal political problems. Bring them in early in the program design process; it may slow you down initially, but it will help you in the long run. “In some ways, the most useful recommendations may be what not to worry about,” continues Komor. “For example, we learned that churn rates among green energy purchasers are no higher than they are for typical customers, so this eliminates what was once a major concern for those starting a green energy program.”

Satellite Teleconference to Feature GeoExchange Technology

The Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, Inc., the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, and the U.S. EPA are co-sponsering a live satellite broadcast about geoexchange uses for municipal buildings.

Washington, D.C.  — Near-record-high natural gas and heating oil prices this winter promise the most expensive heating season in decades for state, county and municipal buildings with the risk that taxpayers could be asked to help offset the higher costs. To help government officials and facilities managers address this attack on operating budgets, an international teleconference, exploring a renewable alternative technology will be broadcast by satellite on November 15, 2000, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST to sites across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It will also be available for viewing globally via the web at http://www.geoexchange.com. The live video conference, “GeoExchange – Bringing Efficiency to State, County and Municipal Buildings,” is being produced by the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC.   The television program will profile buildings in California, Missouri and Canada, as well as a half dozen schools from across the country, that are using geoexchange to pare thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars from annual operating budgets through improved energy efficiency, lower maintenance costs and complexity, and increased system reliability.  In Sacramento, California, residents in public housing units are saving on their energy bills by using geoexchange.  In Missouri, a new environmental center in the heart of downtown Kansas City will use geoexchange and provide over 36% savings on its heating and cooling bills.  In Hull, Quebec, the renowned Museum of Civilization uses a geoexchange system to cool its facilities.  Additional segments will feature a variety of other buildings that are using geoexchange to save taxpayers money.  Geoexchange systems use the renewable energy available from the earth to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, without burning any fossil fuel.  Instead the system transfers heat to and from the ground, which, a few feet below the surface, remains at a relatively constant, moderate temperature year-round. Hosted by Richard Trethewey, of PBS’s This Old House, the format will allow viewer call-ins to a panel of experts including: Bill Enyeart, Sacramento (Calif.) Housing and Redevelopment Agency; Kathy Love, Missouri Department of Conservation; Dr. Ben Norman, Superintendent of the Ankeny Community School District in Iowa; and Dr. Karen Den Braven, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Idaho.  They will be able to answer questions called in by participants on a toll-free number.  

Solar Energy Powers Rural Development

Almost two billion people in developing countries — one third of the world’s population — have no access to electricity. Fuelwood, agricultural residues, human power and draught animals continue to be the primary energy resources for millions of rural families. But solar electric systems could change this.

Finding alternative sources of energy that are both economical and environmentally friendly is crucial for increasing agricultural productivity and improving the quality of life in rural communities. A new FAO report, “Solar photovoltaics for sustainable agriculture and rural development”, suggests that photovoltaic solar energy systems may be part of the solution. Finding the right niche The publication makes clear that photovoltaic solar systems are still relatively costly and therefore are not “a panacea for solving all rural poverty problems”. However, they do offer tremendous potential for filling certain extremely important ‘niche applications’. “Solar energy systems, together with wind energy and other renewable energy applications, are the only technically viable solution to deliver the energy required by isolated rural communities,” says Gustavo Best, FAO Senior Energy Coordinatorin a radio interview. “Small amounts of energy can make a tremendous difference, making it possible to improve rural lives, enhance agricultural productivity and create new opportunities to earn income.” Solar power is currently used primarily for household lighting and radio and television. By extending the hours of available light, it creates extra time for productive activities. This has been especially beneficial to women and children, who spend more time indoors. The extra light allows women to perform activities such as sewing, basket-making and handicrafts and lets children continue studying after dark. But solar energy’s potential is relatively untapped in increasing agricultural productivity and rural development in general. With a supportive financial and institutional environment, solar energy systems could significantly improve health care and education; water supply forconsumption, irrigation and livestock; food preparation and refrigeration; veterinary services; communication; and tourism. It also holds promise for productive off-farm activities (restaurants, cinemas, technical and artisinal workshops, etc.) by powering tools, kitchen equipment, phones and other appliances. Barriers to success Compared with energy from fossil fuels, solar energy systems are flexible, low maintenance and environmentally benign, but they have their limitations. “Most disadvantaged subsistence farmers will generally not be able to afford solar systems” the report states. Furthermore, batteries to store solar electricity can be costly and problematic: A backup system is required for night-time and days with little sunlight, and disposal of the batteries poses an environmental threat. More problematic are the institutional barriers: high start-up costs coupled with lack of financing mechanisms lead to low volumes of sales, and the relatively long chain from the producer of the solar panels to the end user results in high transaction costs. These are key reasons for the lack of infrastructure and political commitment. This vicious circle has tended to make solar energy systems unattractive both to the rural user and to many investors. Potential of solar energy applications But there is hope for overcoming the financial and institutional barriers to solar energy success. In Kenya, despite punishing tax and tariff policies that favour conventional energy resources such as kerosene and other fossil fuels, between 50 000 and 70 000 solar home systems have been installed. This demonstrates how the private sector can develop a solid market by reaching those rural customers left unserved by a monopolistic power company. And in Indonesia, the Government and institutional donor money support a thriving market in solar home energy systems. To fully exploit the potential of solar energy will require several institutional changes in the energy sector: * Rural and agricultural development banks must make solar energy systems eligible for loans. * The systems must be made more attractive to private investors. * Above all, the energy, agriculture, education and health sectors must work together to promote solar technology, improve maintenance and servicing infrastructure and create sustainable markets for the creation, use and funding of solar energy systems. Considerable progress has been made over the past 20 years in delivering electrical power to the people. In 1970, 23 percent of the rural population had access to electricity; in 1990, the proportion had almost doubled, to 44 percent. Much of this has been achieved by extending the coverage of national electrical grids. However, connecting the rural communities to these grids is not profitable, requires heavy government subsidies and does not always bring the projected benefits. The report notes that in general, “the success of rural electrification follows and supports socioeconomic development rather than the other way around”. Today, solar energy systems are being integrated into large electrification programmes in rural areas around the world, where “their smaller, modular character makes them particularly suitable for remote, dispersed populations with low and scattered energy demands”.

German Company Buys Benefits Of Green Electricity From Ireland

European companies are setting up a system that will allow green energy certificates trading across the continent.

HAMBURG – HEW is the first German energy company to sell green electricity based on tradable certificates to business customers. The first buyer is the organic food wholesale company Naturkost Nord Grohandelsgesellschaft. Matthias Deppe, managing director of Naturkost Nord, has bought 63 green certificates of 1,000 kWh, which corresponds to his company’s annual electricity consumption of 63,000 kWh. The price was 15 Euros per certificate. The certificates guarantee to Deppe that an amount of electricity equivalent to his consumption will be produced from renewable energy sources somewhere in Europe, independent of the physical delivery to his company. HEW purchased the certificates for Naturkost Nord in Ireland, where the company Eirtricity is operating a brand new wind farm which went onstream in October 2000 and operates without any state aid. Since the Irish market, which is growing at 6% per annum, opened in February 2000, Eirtricity has built up a substantial customer base supplied with competitively priced electricity produced from wind farms throughout Ireland. The company has plans for the development of over 500 MW of wind generated electricity in Ireland, where wind power is quickly becoming the most competitive source of electricity. The transaction was brokered by the international energy broker Natsource which is specialized in emissions trading and which already helped to bring about the CO2 transaction between HEW and the Candadian energy company TransAlta in May. The basic principle of trading green certificates is the separation of physical electricity and environmental benefit. The electricity from the Irish wind turbines is fed into the Irish grid. The envienvironmental benefit – i.e. the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – is acknowledged in the form of a certificate, which may then be traded separately. In this way, Matthias Deppe participates in the environmental benefit of the Irish wind farm. Deppe: “I am thinking globally. My electricity could just as well come from Swedish biomass power plants or Dutch wind turbines.” As far as mitigation of climate change is concerned, it is irrelevant whether the green electricity is produced in Ireland or in Germany. In this way, Deppe will achieve the environmental benefit much more economically than with certificates from Germany. One reason for this is the fact that there are many locations for wind turbines in Ireland with high wind speeds over long periods and, thus, low electricity pro-duction costs. Just like trade in CO2 reductions, trading green certificates fol-lows the principle of directing environmental investments to where the greatest effect per Euro can be achieved. The Renewable Energy Certificate System (RECS) – an open pan-European initiative of energy companies, environmental organizations, trade associations and governmental agencies, of which HEW is a member – is currently preparing the organiza-tional framework for the pan-European trade in green certificates. In this framework, several companies will provide trading plat-forms on the internet. Natsource already has such a platform in operation. A test phase of RECS, in which HEW will participate, is due to start at the beginning of 2001. Dr. Helmuth Groscurth, head of HEW’s Energy Concept Future: “We hope that as many companies and countries as possible will participate in the test phase. The pan-European trade will only work, if there is a widely accepted, trustworthy infrastructure, on which certificate transac-tions can be handled. ”

ECD and United Solar Retain Former Solar Energy Industries’ Leader

TROY, Mich., Oct. 2 // — Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (Nasdaq: ENER – news) and United Solar Systems Corp. (United Solar) announced today that they have retained Scott Sklar, long-time Executive Director of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), to provide strategic market development of ECD and United Solar products and technology. Sklar, nationally-known as the solar industries’ spokesman in Washington, D.C. and former aide to Senator Jacob K. Javits (NY), is a well-known expert in distributed energy generation, renewable energy, and in clean energy project development. Stan Ovshinsky, ECD president and CEO, called Sklar’s engagement “a perfect fit as we expand our technology lines for hydrogen generation, advanced electric storage and solar electricity. Scott Sklar’s vision and energy are a fine match as he assumes the role as Director of Strategic Markets.” Subhendu Guha, president of United Solar, stated, “As we build our next generation 25 megawatt solar plant this coming year, Scott Sklar will help forge strategic alliances with clean energy industry partners and users and establish innovative approaches in market development.” Sklar is co-author of the book “A Consumer Guide to Solar Energy” and lives in a solar home in Arlington, VA. Sklar joined ECD and United Solar through his strategic consulting practice, The Stella Group, Ltd. of Arlington, VA. United Solar is the world leader in thin-film amorphous photovoltaics. ECD and United Solar have pioneered, developed and hold basic patents covering the continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of thin-film amorphous silicon alloy multi-junction solar cells. Among its many PV products, United Solar offers a revolutionary new line of solar electric roofing panels, which are unique, flexible, lightweight and architecturally attractive. The UNI-SOLAR® roofing products include standing seam metal roofing and solar roofing shingles, which have been lauded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Other products include solar battery chargers, framed power modules, Uni-Kit Lighting Systems, which offer significant advantages over conventional solar panels in providing more energy per rated watt under normal outdoor conditions. United Solar’s web site address is http://www.uni-solar.com . ECD is a leader in the synthesis of new materials and the development of advanced production technology and innovative products. It has pioneered and developed enabling technologies leading to new products and production processes based on amorphous, disordered and related materials, with emphasis on energy and information. ECD’s energy work includes photovoltaics, fuel cells, hydride batteries and hydride storage materials capable of storing hydrogen in a solid state for use as a feed stock for fuel cells or internal combustion engines or as an enhancement or replacement for any type of hydrocarbon fuel. In the area of information technology, ECD has originated phase-change memories and Ovonic threshold switches as well as advanced Ovonyx unified memories. ECD’s web site address is http://www.ovonic.com . SOURCE: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. and United Solar Systems Corp.

California Town to Demonstrate Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

In a unique public/private partnership seven neighborhood electric vehicles will buzz around Sebastopol, CA starting this fall to demonstrate their use for a variety of activities in downtown areas.

SEBASTOPOL, Calif., Nov. 10 // Seven 25 mile per hour electric cars hit the road this fall in the Northern California wine country town of Sebastopol, part of a project to demonstrate the use of such cars for downtown deliveries, running errands and shuttling tourists. The $120,000 project was co-funded by the California Energy Commission and a public-private partnership made up of three local entities: the City of Sebastopol, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, and ZAPWORLD.COM (Nasdaq: ZAPP). A local manufacturer and distributor of electric vehicles, ZAP uses the electric cars to shuttle employees and parts between its five locations within the city limits. The cars are part of a new federal “Neighborhood Electric Vehicle” category created to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles for inner-city use. Smaller than traditional cars, they are still required to have automotive grade headlights, seatbelts, windshields, brakes and other safety equipment. With a top speed of 25 MPH, the cars can only be used on streets with a posted 35 MPH speed limit. Sebastopol Public Works employee Henry Burgo has already started using the electric cars for reading local water meters, saying they save time and money. He used to make the 15-20 mile daily route in a gas pickup and estimates that the City is now saving about $100 a week by switching over to electric. Other city employees have started using the cars to run errands and deliveries during the day and the City has even considered a shuttle service for the public. Holiday Inn owner Kirk Lok said the partnership was an opportunity to explore alternative transportation while offering a new service for guests. The hotel now shuttles guests and employees around in electric cars instead of internal combustion. Lok plans to install solar panels for charging the cars and is exploring the possibility of offering them as rentals. One of the reasons why Sebastopol was chosen for the grant is because it is on a busy tourist route and exposes a large number of people to the new type of electric car, according to Peter Villanueva, Energy Analyst for the California Energy Commission. Villanueva added that it was a good opportunity to demonstrate “zero-emission” vehicles at a time when the industry seems more focused on bi-fuel, or hybrid, vehicle technologies that still use fossil fuels. The California Air Resources Board recently ruled to keep a deadline to require the sale of zero-emission vehicles in the state by 2004. “Electric is the way to go,” said Villanueva. “The more we can be involved in these real-world applications of electric vehicles the better.” He added that the Energy Commission hopes to duplicate this type of public-private partnership in other places. For further information about Neighborhood cars, contact ZAP at 800-251-4555 or visit its website.

New Power to Offer ‘Green’ Power to Consumers in Pennsylvania

Customers Will Save on Electricity and Aid the Environment

The New Power Company (NYSE: NPW – news) the first national residential and small business energy provider, today announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Community Energy Inc., to provide wind generated energy to customers in the Philadelphia area. Under the terms of the six-month trial period agreement, The New Power Company will market wind power supplied by Community Energy from a site under development in the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. The new wind turbines are scheduled to come on-line by the end of 2001. “Our agreement with Community Energy is a win-win for Pennsylvania energy consumers,” said H. Eugene Lockhart, The New Power Company’s president and CEO. “The 299,000 customers we recently were awarded under PECO’s ”Customer Default Service“ program were already guaranteed a mix of ”green“ power under the terms of the Request For Proposals. Now those consumers will have the opportunity to buy even more ”green“ energy by choosing our wind power alternative and locking in the price. This option provides consumers with the satisfaction of price certainty coupled with a win for the environment.” The New Power Company customers will be able to buy wind energy in fixed kilowatt-hour blocks, allowing each customer to select the amount they want to meet their specific needs. In addition, other Pennsylvania New Power customers will have the opportunity to purchase the wind power offering. “Community Energy began marketing wind energy to businesses in Pennsylvania last year,” stated Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy. “To no ones surprise, consumer reaction was very favorable and resulted in a rapid over-subscription of the wind generating station we constructed in Hazelton. We have no doubt residential consumers will also be eager to make an economical and environmentally responsible choice.” The New Power Company was formed in May 2000 to provide electricity and natural gas directly to households and small businesses in the deregulated marketplace. The company draws on the expertise, experience and market strength of such industry leaders as Enron, AOL and IBM to bring savings and efficiencies to energy consumers. TNPC, Inc., the parent of The New Power Company, is listed on the NYSE under the symbol NPW. SOURCE: The New Power Company

California Fuel Cell Partnership Opens Headquarters Facility

The opening ceremony of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a member organization that promotes the advance of fuel cell technologies for the auto industry, featured seven prototypes of fuel cell powered vehicles by leading car makers.

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Fuel Cell Partnership officially opened the doors to its newly constructed fuel cell vehicle headquarters facility in West Sacramento. More than 400 attended the event. The ceremony featured the Partnership debut of seven automotive manufacturers’ fuel cell electric vehicles – the first time in history that these cars have been brought together. Fuel cell-powered buses were also demonstrated. The dramatic 55,000 square-foot facility, which houses fuel cell cars and a hydrogen fueling station, serves as an operations base for executing the Partnership’s goals of demonstrating fuel cell vehicle technology, exploring an alternative fuel infrastructure, and increasing public awareness. The facility features a public gallery area with educational exhibits, fuel cell models, and an interactive kiosk. This unique Partnership comprises 18 member organizations from industry and government working together to advance fuel cell technology. Over the next few years, more than 50 fuel cell-powered cars will drive on California’s diverse roadways in real-world conditions – the largest concentration of fuel cell vehicles in the world. 20 fuel cell buses will also be demonstrated in regular transit operations. The Partnership – which formally began in April 1999 – includes auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen); energy providers (BP, Shell, Texaco); fuel cell companies (Ballard Power Systems and International Fuel Cells); and government agencies (the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Transportation). The team also includes Associate Partners who assist with specific areas of expertise to help meet the Partnership’s goals: hydrogen gas suppliers (Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Praxair); a methanol fuel supplier (Methanex); and bus transit companies (AC Transit, operating in the San Francisco Bay area, and SunLine Transit Agency Palm Springs area). More information about the Partnership and the facility may be found on the organization’s website.

New Report on Energy Efficiency

In related news, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a new report last week that examines new technologies for saving energy in industry. The report provides an overview of 54 technologies that cover a wide range of industries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Exciting new technologies that are likely to offer energy-saving alternatives to current technologies and practices in the industrial sector are profiled in ACEEE’s new report, Emerging Energy-Efficient Industrial Technologies. Increasingly, industry is confronted with the challenge of moving toward a cleaner, more sustainable path of production and consumption, while increasing global competitiveness. Technology will be essential in meeting these challenges. At some point, businesses are faced with investment in new capital stock. At this decision point, new and emerging technologies compete for capital investment alongside more established or mature technologies. Understanding the dynamics of the decision-making process is important to perceive what drives technology change and the overall effect on industrial energy use. The assessment of emerging technologies can be useful for: * identifying R&D projects; * providing common information on technologies to a broad audience of decision-makers; * offering new insights into technology development and energy efficiency potentials; and * identifying potential technologies for market transformation activities. This report identifies many promising emerging technologies, which can achieve high energy savings and have a good likelihood of success due to their economic, environmental, product quality, and other benefits. We encourage product developers and policy-makers to undertake the outlined next steps for each of the most promising technologies and we also encourage follow-up assessments to help identify additional technologies. “This report represents a significant contribution to industrial energy analysis. I hope that others will build upon this effort so that a large database of technology profiles can be compiled,” said co-author Neal Elliott, Industrial Program Director and Senior Associate of ACEEE. This report was a collaborative effort between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and ACEEE and was funded by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, New York State Research and Development Authority, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Iowa Energy Center. Copies of Emerging Energy-Efficient Industrial Technologies are available for $50 (postpaid). To order, contact the ACEEE publications office, 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW #801, Washington, D.C. 20036, phone: (202) 429-0063; e-mail: ace3pubs@ix.netcom.com. For more information on ACEEE, see our Web site at aceee.org.