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NEMA Announces Energy Efficient Motor Program

The National Equipment Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced last month a new Premium Motor program that will set a voluntary efficiency standard for the electric motor industry which could save 58,000 megawatts of electricity.

NEMA’s Motor and Generator Section announced in early October that it will establish a Premium Motor energy efficiency program. Traditionally, there has been no industry consensus specification defining high efficiency or premium efficiency motors. Recent power supply issues and utility deregulation have brought attention to the need to help motor users optimize motor systems efficiency. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 imposed energy efficiency standards on many classes of motors. Since then, many users and motor repair shops have become confused over the lack of consistency in terms describing integral motor premium efficiency performance. By agreeing on a North American Premium Motor program, NEMA motor manufacturers expect this confusion to be greatly reduced. They anticipate demand for NEMA premium efficient motors will one day exceed demand for the current energy efficient product required by the Energy Policy Act. Integral horsepower motors became an efficiency-regulated product under the act; minimum efficiency levels known as energy efficient were established for 1 horsepower to 200 horsepower, general purpose motors. The Premium Motor program will go beyond the EPAct program to include motors up to 450 horsepower. Praising the proposed program, NEMA President Malcolm O’Hagan said, “A NEMA Premium Motor should be a welcome addition to the marketplace, setting a clear, voluntary energy efficiency specification for the industry, one that will be good for consumers, manufacturers, and the environment.” Experts believe NEMA Premium Motors will be specified by utility motor programs as replacements for older, failed motors because of an accompanying reduction in electrical energy consumption and improved reliability. “The members of the NEMA Motor and Generator Section are convinced,” said Robert Boteler, chairman of the NEMA Energy Management Taskforce, “that the recent Department of Energy Motor Decisions coalition, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Electrical Apparatus Service Association, NEMA, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and utility interests, when coupled with the NEMA Premium Motor program, will provide energy savings opportunities previously unrealized by American industrial and commercial firms.” The Motor Decisions coalition was formed in June of this year in an effort to bring together utilities, motor manufacturers, and service shops, along with DOE and EPA, to map out an action plan to reduce motor energy consumption in commercial and industrial applications. NEMA members are determined to provide the most innovative and efficient motor products possible, according to Boteler. “In fact, we have elected to broaden the new NEMA Premium program to include motors outside the range now regulated by the federal government.” Using Department of Energy industrial motor research data, Boteler estimates that the NEMA Premium Motor program, including commercial and agricultural applications, would save 58 gigawatts of electricity and prevent the release of nearly 80 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere over the next ten years. “It would be the equivalent of keeping 16 million cars off the road in the next decade,” he says. Member companies in the NEMA Motor and Generator Section include Emerson Electric, General Electric Company, Marathon/Lincoln, Siemens Energy and Automation, Toshiba International, Rockwell Automation, Sterling Electric, WEG Electric, Leeson Electric, Brook Crompton NA, ElectraGear, Ametek, Howell, Imperial Electric, Peerless Winsmith, SEW-Eurodrive, and Onan Corporation.

Astropower Gains Approval For Its Packaged Solar Electric Power Systems

SunUPS System Passes System Design Reviews NEWARK, DE ?OCTOBER 24, 2000 ?AstroPower, Inc. (NASDAQ: APWR) announced today that its packaged solar electric power SunUPS photovoltaic (PV) system is the first PV system with battery storage to be approved under the Florida Photovoltaic Buildings Program of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). As a result of the approval, utilities and other program partners can receive rebate funds from the State of Florida when installing the SunUPS system. AstroPower? SunUPS system is a standardized package featuring all necessary components for installation and seamless automatic solar power generation on homes and commercial buildings. Capable of generating up to 5 kW of back-up power during utility outages, this premium power system allows customers to experience uninterrupted power for an unlimited amount of time. The package includes mounting systems for all types of roofs, pre-wired and self-contained power electronics, system wiring and hardware, and a full step-by-step installation manual. The SunUPS system was approved after a System Design Review of the overall design and individual major components with respect to applicable codes and standards and the use of accepted industry design practices. “The objectives of these reviews are to ensure quality, safety and code compliance for system designs which, hopefully, ensures reliability and customer satisfaction with installations,” said Jim Dunlop, senior engineer at FSEC. The overall purpose of the program, he added, is to encourage the use of prepackaged systems rather than the purchase of individual components. “FSEC approval means a lot to us because of the organization? extremely high standards which factor in Florida’s harsh wind and salt air environment,” said AstroPower Director of North American Business, Howard Wenger. “FSEC approval also confirms what we’ve been hearing from our partners and installers. Our packaged premium power systems make installation easy and ensure customer satisfaction.” Requiring no fuel or maintenance, the system enables consumers to sell excess power generated by the solar panels back to the utility grid during periods of peak demand. Utilities and other program partners can also receive rebate funds from the State of Florida when installing AstroPower? SunLine system. Offering the same prepackaged components of the SunUPS system without the battery storage, the SunLine system has also been approved by FSEC. About AstroPower Headquartered in Newark, Delaware, AstroPower is the world? largest independent manufacturer of solar electric power products, and one of the world? fastest growing solar electric power companies. AstroPower develops, manufactures, markets and sells PV solar cells, modules, panels and systems for generating solar electric power. Solar electric power systems provide a clean, renewable source of electricity in both off-grid and on-grid applications. In Nov. 1999, AstroPower was selected by Industry Week magazine as one of the 25 most successful small manufacturers in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.AstroPower.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as described in the Company? registration statement and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result, there can be no assurance that the Company? future results will not be materially different from those projected. The projections contained herein speak only of the Company? expectations as of the date of this press release. The Company hereby expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in the Company? expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which such statement is based. Contact Information: Michael Wright Director, Marketing Communications AstroPower, Inc. (302) 366-0400 Ext. 195

Indian State Government to Set Up Seven Solar Parks

In an effort to popularise renewable energy the Haryana state government in India has decided to create seven solar energy parks.

Chandigarh – India // The Haryana government, in an attempt to popularise renewable energy, has decided to set up seven solar parks in the state for the demonstration of various devices running on non-conventional energy. A spokesperson for the department of Non-conventional Energy Sources said that three such parks have already been set up at Panchkula, Rewari and Hisar and four more would be set up during the current financial year. The department has also decided to set up 4,000 solar lighting systems at the cost of Rs 4.80 crore but so far only 1422 systems have come up. The government has also decided to distribute 5,000 solar lanterns at the cost of Rs 1.85 crore while it has only distributed 4,000 lanterns at he cost of Rs 1.43 crore last year. The spokesman said that 529 solar heating systems have already been set up in the state and during the current year. A subsidy of Rs 1.25 lakh would be given for setting up such a system. The government was also providing a subsidy of Rs 300 per solar cooker and already more than 1,80,000 families have availed of the facility. The department plans to distribute 1300 solar cookers during the current financial year.

Groups Unite To Champion Clean Energy For The Poor

Energy, Environmental Justice, Consumer and National Environmental Groups Outline Fair Energy Policies to Avoid Future Crises

New York; San Antonio; Washington, DC – In a unique partnership, a diverse, national coalition of groups joined forces to address the disproportionate impacts of current energy practices on low-income and minority communities. The groups signed a resolution on the social and environmental problems associated with energy supply, including environmental health, affordability, and economic development.

“Energy bills account for up to a third of a poor household’s expenses. When oil and electricity prices rise, low-income communities have to rely on unsteady funding to get by-and sometimes they must do without,” said Larry Chretien of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance. “That’s little security when you need light, heat, and cooling to live. Energy efficiency goes a long way to give citizens that security.”

Over fifty groups signed the “Resolution on Sustainable Energy and Low-Income and Minority Communities” to urge greater community participation in energy policymaking. The “Resolution” points to the need for an increased national commitment to energy efficiency, renewable technologies, and clean fuels to meet mounting economic and environmental threats. Supporting groups range from the Indigenous Environmental Network to Natural Resources Defense Council and the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

“Kids in low-income areas suffer disproportionately from asthma and mercury from energy use, while communities of color are unfairly saddled with big power plants that reduce property values and squeeze out other activities,” said Mathy Stanislaus of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “At the same time, large power plants are ready to come into urban neighborhoods that can least resist them. We have a problem on our hands, and it’s ready to get worse. It’s time to champion alternatives that meet community needs.”

From California to New York, fossil fuel power plants located in low-income and minority communities are running more to meet power shortages in cities. Calls for more oil supply, rather than reduced demand, are spurring oil refineries to run with reduced maintenance, making the threat of toxic leaks and accidents in neighborhoods worse than before.

“It’s a double whammy-the communities most adversely affected by energy-related pollution are the communities least able to purchase that energy,” said Enrique Valdivia of the Esperanza Environmental Justice Project in San Antonio. “We must build a just energy system that cuts energy waste through efficiency programs targeting low income consumers and invests in renewable resources.”

“In Indian Country, coal and uranium have been exploited with destructive consequences to both the environment and community health, while Indian people pay disproportionately higher prices for that energy,” explained Robert Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy. “Fortunately we are blessed with wind and solar energy. We can easily harness this energy to create more local jobs while respecting the cultural and spiritual values we place on our land.”

According to Karl R. Rà¡bago, Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute and member of REPP’s Board of Directors, “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are ready to empower communities of all kinds with clean energy solutions. They are already in the marketplace, and they can reach even more people through enlightened policies. These technologies-rooftop solar panels, small fuel cells, and efficient air conditioners and appliances-can provide total energy solutions at the right scale, as an alternative to big power plants forced into unwilling communities.”

The Resolution along with a list of supporting groups and an extensive fact summary are available electronically at http://www.repp.org.

National Parks to Get Greener, Cleaner

“Green Energy Parks” Initiative Provides $1.6 Million for 70 New Clean Energy Projects

The Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $1.6 million in funding for 70 new clean energy projects at national parks across the country under the Green Energy Parks program. A joint NPS and DOE initiative, Green Energy Parks provides energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and alternative fuels for the National Park System. The announcement was made at Anacostia Park in Southeast D.C., which will receive funding to install solar powered lighting for its Urban Tree House, an outdoor environmental education center. “Parks are an ideal way to showcase clean energy tchnologies,” said T. J. Glauthier, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy. “Thousands of visitors to Anacostia Park and millions of visitors to other national parks implementing clean energy programs will have an opportunity to see and experience the environmental benefits first hand.” David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior added, “This joint effort demonstrates the high level of federal government commitment to energy and water conservation, and the national parks are an ideal venue for showcasing these clean energy technologies.” The departments will provide funding and technical assistance for this year’s 70 projects that include energy efficient lighting, ground-source heat pumps, solar water heating and photovoltaic-produced power. Recently, the DOE and the NPS were honored with the President’s Award for Federal Energy Management Success for their outreach partnership efforts demonstrated by the Green Energy Parks program. The program was recognized for its innovative renewable and energy efficient technologies in national parks. In 1999, NPS and DOE invested more than $1.5 million in 60 projects that provided clean energy and alternative fuels in 20 national parks. Educational displays that accompanied these energy projects explain to visitors how smart energy management saves energy and money while reducing pollution at home, at work, and in transportation choices.

GEF Helps China Develop Wind Power

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a grant of 12 million $US on November 7 to help China harness wind power and reduce greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a grant of 12 million $US on November 7 to help China harness wind power and reduce greenhouse gas emission into the atmosphere.

The GEF is an independent multilateral financial mechanism that assists developing countries to protect the global environment in four areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters and ozone layer depletion. It is jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Environment Program, and the World Bank.

The GEF-supported project, which totally costs 98 million dollars, supports China’s efforts to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on coal, which accounts for nearly 72 percent of total commercial energy production and contributes significantly to the high level of carbon emissions.

“Heavy dependence on coal not only pollutes the atmosphere, it also has health and mortality consequence,” said GEF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mohamed T. EI-Ashry. “This project is a win-win for power generation and human health,” he added.

The project will increase by 78 megawatts the electrical capacity provided by wind power through the construction of three wind farms at Dabancheng in northwest China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, at Fujin in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, and at Xiwaizi in Liaoning Province, also in northeast China.

The GEF said that China has a rich wind resource base and some wind farm sites boast “world class” resources. However, the present installed capacity is only about 265 megawatts, which is a fraction of 1 percent of the known potential.

Pepco Energy Services and Applied Power Corp. Complete One Of the Largest Thin Film Solar Electric Systems in the Nation

Practicality of Building Solar Plants At Existing Government Facilities Is Demonstrated WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Pepco Energy Services and Applied Power Corp. announce the completion of one the largest thin film photovoltaic systems in the country. The project was built for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) at the Suitland Federal Center in Maryland, near Washington, DC. “The General Services Administration is proud to dedicate this system in support of the President’s Million Solar Roof Initiative,” said GSA’s Nelson Alcalde, Regional Administrator for the National Capital Region. “We believe this installation is a model of flexibility and adaptability of solar projects, and GSA will showcase this site as an educational model of how the Federal government can be a good neighbor by quickly improving the environmental standards of the Suitland community.” Pepco Energy Services, a wholly-owned, separately managed subsidiary of the Potomac Electric Power Company (NYSE: POM – news), served as the general contractor and project manager of the system while Applied Power Corp., a subsidiary of IDACORP (NYSE: IDA – news) designed, procured and installed the equipment. The GSA funded the generation station to support the Planet GSA program, the President’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative and the goals of Executive Order 13123. “Pepco Energy Services has worked closely with the GSA to develop this new source of renewable energy,” said Ed Mayberry, President of Pepco Energy Services. “We are looking forward to expand on this successful project, which has been the result of innovation and teamwork on the part of Pepco Energy Services and our partners.” The photovoltaic power system includes 2,800 modules that convert sunlight into 100 kilowatts of pollution-free electric power. The solar array is comprised of an advanced amorphous silicon technology, which offers the promise of further reducing the costs of solar panels. The solar-generated electricity will offset power used from other sources to provide clean energy for the central cooling plant at the Suitland Federal Center. The PV system installation is supported, in part, by funding from the Department of Energy through an award from the Utility PhotoVoltaic Group’s TEAM-UP program “We are pleased to have been a part of the team for this important project, and commend Pepco Energy Services and the GSA for their commitment to sustainable energy solutions,” said John Elting, President of Applied Power Corp. “Our company is dedicated to bringing forward successful large scale utility projects such as this.” The project has clearly demonstrated the practicality and benefits of incorporating solar power into existing facilities. Working together, Pepco Energy Services and Applied Power have reclaimed an abandoned cooling pond and turned a rusted tangle of pipes into a source of clean power generation that complements the landscaping. Every megawatt-hour of energy produced by the system offsets 2,120 lbs. of CO2 that would have been otherwise produced by coal fired generation sources. The energy produced by the system reduces overall electric demand at the facility and supports other energy saving measures implemented at the site. Pepco Energy Services provides commercial, institutional and government customers a complete suite of integrated energy management solutions including electricity and natural gas; energy assessments; energy information systems; fuel management services; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; lighting; project financing; and energy operations and maintenance services. In 1999, Pepco Energy Services was awarded over $500 million dollars in energy and energy-related service contracts and has completed energy efficiency projects from Connecticut to North Carolina. Visit http://www.pepcoenergy.com for more information on Pepco Energy Services. Applied Power Corporation is North America’s leading photovoltaic system supplier bringing clean energy to industry, businesses, utilities, homeowners, and government. Applied Power provides innovative and dependable solar power systems and has more than 19 years experience in system design, engineering installation, project development, training, and consulting. Corporate headquarters are in Lacey, Washington with additional offices in Washington state, California, Colorado and Massachusetts. Applied Power is a subsidiary of IDACORP, an energy-focused holding company that includes Idaho Power Company. News releases and other information about Applied Power Corporation are available on its Web site at http://www.appliedpower.com. For more information about the GSA, visit its web site at http://ncr.gsa.gov, or contact Gary Caruso at 202-260-4227. Pepco Energy Services, Inc., is not the same company as Potomac Electric Power Company and prices and services of Pepco Energy Services, Inc., are not set by the Public Service Commission. SOURCE: Pepco Energy Service and Applied Power Corporation

Siemens Solar Announces Higher-Power Solar Modules

CAMARILLO, Calif., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Siemens Solar Industries L.P. announces the production of a new, larger series of solar modules: the SP130 (130 Wp), SP140 (140 Wp) and SP150 (150 Wp) monocystalline solar modules. The new SP modules have been designed for use in grid-connected and large industrial installations. They offer the customer approximately 20-35 percent more power than the SM110, Siemens Solar’s previously highest-rated module. In addition to a reduced installation effort, this results in a reduction of 20-35 percent of the modules required to achieve an installation of comparable power. The new modules incorporate a rugged anodized aluminum frame designed for easy installation. One person can carry and install an SP150, whereas larger competing products normally require a crane for installation. The new solar modules have been designed with a 2:1 aspect ratio enhancing their modularity for easy integration and optimum use of the roof surface geometry. The modules can be mounted lengthwise or sideways on the roof and still appear as a single rectangular unit. The new SP130, SP140 and SP150 solar modules feature silicon solar cells employing Siemens Solar’s exclusive PowerMax(TM) technology and TOPS(TM) process. This results in maximum energy per day and enhanced output even in low light conditions. The superior performance combined with excellent long-term stability, ensure continuing high-energy output for the installation. Siemens Solar offers a 25-year warranty on power output for the new SP modules. The Siemens Solar Group consists of Siemens Solar GmbH in Munich, Germany, a joint venture of Siemens AG and E.ON Energie AG, Siemens Solar Industries L.P., Camarillo (CA), and joint ventures Siemens Showa Solar Ltd., Singapore and Showa Solar Energy KK, Tokyo. To date Siemens Solar has supplied solar cells worldwide with an output of almost 200 megawatts, making it a world leader in the photovoltaics industry. The company’s website is www.siemenssolar.com. For sales information, contact ssi.sales@solar.siemens.com. Press releases issued are available on our web site at: http://www.usa.siemens.com/News_and_Press/RecentPressReleases.htm . Photograph of residential application available upon request. SOURCE Siemens Solar Industries L.P. CONTACT: Tina Nickerson of Siemens Solar Industries L.P., 805-388-6519, or tina.nickerson@solar.siemens.com/

Worldwater Corp. Signs Agreement to Become Master Consultant and Contractor for All Water and Energy Programs in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 6 WORLDWATER CORP. (OTC Bulletin Board: WWAT), a full-service U.S. based water management and solar engineering company, announced today that it had signed agreements to become the master consultant and contractor for all water and energy programs for the newly-elected government of the eastern African nation of Somalia. WorldWater, which specializes in proprietary solar pumps and solar electrical systems to provide clean water and electricity in developing countries, signed the agreement in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on October 25 with the Minister of Mining, Water and Mineral Resources and with the Minister of Agriculture for the new government, according to Quentin T. Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “Plans call for WorldWater to advise the government on water and energy matters over the next three years on every aspect of water supply, including the civil works of piping, distribution and delivery in the capital of Mogadishu, as well as other municipalities and rural areas throughout the country,” Mr. Kelly said. “WorldWater also will concentrate on providing electricity to towns and communities through renewable energy resources such as solar power, and will advise on agricultural programs, managing the country’s irrigation projects, including the pumping delivery systems, which will mainly be solar.” The newly appointed Cabinet Minister for Mining, Water and Mineral Resources, Hassan Abshir Farah, said, “Providing clean water and electricity to the people of Somalia is a top priority in our reconstruction. The American company, WorldWater Corp., is prepared to begin immediately to plan and begin that operation as soon as we have organized our budgets for the programs.” In addition to the potable water programs, agriculture will assume a commanding position in the young government’s plans, according to the new Minister of Agriculture, Yusuf Moalim Amin. “Somalia’s economy is based on agriculture and we must resurrect our farming capabilities as soon as possible. We’re asking WorldWater to help us install properly managed irrigation systems using their solar pumps as early as possible,” Mr. Amin stated. Mr. Kelly said that under the three-year agreement WorldWater would develop and manage and oversee contracting for the country’s water resources and incorporate renewable energy projects such as solar power into Somalia’s infrastructure. This includes locating and managing groundwater sources in municipal and rural areas, delivering water for drinking and for irrigation using the Company’s solar pumping systems and generating independent electricity with its solar power systems. Mr. Kelly said that the Company is establishing WorldWater Somalia Ltd. as a Somali participating subsidiary to manage, market and distribute water management and solar equipment services. WorldWater also will be responsible for hydrological studies to determine the suitable sites for water and solar electrical power systems. Mr. Kelly said that WorldWater has the technology, equipment and expertise to establish solar powered water and electricity generation projects on a broad scale. “Our water stations could be set up in rural areas to provide water for human consumption, livestock and irrigation purposes,” Mr. Kelly stated. “We also can supply water and power to homes, schools, health clinics, police stations and businesses.” WorldWater has solar water pumping and electrical power systems operating in 17 countries. “We have demonstrated success in providing clean water and electricity to developing nations and we look forward to bringing these basic necessities to the people of Somalia,” he added. “We will endeavor to deliver these services, as circumstances permit and as funding becomes available, in a manner as timely as possible.” He said that the government has indicated that water will be the largest item in Somalia’s budget. WorldWater Corp., founded in 1984, possesses special expertise in developing water sources and providing electrical power. Its solar pumps can retrieve water from wells at a depth of 1,000 feet, far deeper than competing pumps. Its larger pumps deliver 2,200 gallons per minute, 10 times more than its nearest competitor, taking water from canals, streams and rivers for irrigation. WorldWater also provides lighting and electricity by means of solar power technology to users who are not located near utility company power grids. “For 16 years since it was founded, the mission of World Water Corp. has been to alleviate the difficult conditions under which many people live in developing countries, with the most pressing needs generally being the availability of water and electricity,” Mr. Kelly said. “Successful projects such as those provided by WorldWater Corp. immeasurably improve the lives of citizens in these countries and strengthen the infrastructure of the nation itself. These projects also are beneficial to our shareholders because of the significant privatization efforts by the government to switch to private sector companies such as WorldWater.” WorldWater, based in Pennington, N.J., has solar water pumping and electrical systems operating in countries around the world, including the Philippines. It recently started work on the first phase of a project valued at up to $20 million to bring safe drinking water to 150 municipalities in Cebu province in the Philippines. The Company also recently contracted with the Province of Sulu to supply water to all of the islands in that southernmost Philippine province. The province’s governor estimates the total value of the contract at $30 million over three years. The Company also has contracts pending or in place in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. WorldWater Corp. (http://www.worldwater.com) is a full-service water management and solar engineering company specializing in solving water problems through use of solar energy. The Company produces and distributes the proprietary AquaSafe(TM) and AquaMax 2200(TM) solar water pumps, capable of delivering water in volumes from 5 gallons to more than 2000 gallons per minute. This document may contain Statements which constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” include any statement which is not of purely historical fact, such as statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies and future events and underlying assumptions thereof. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to be materially different from those projected. Such factors include, among other, general economic and business conditions which may impact demand for the Company’s solar generated pumps and electricity; changes in tax laws and regulations; the ability of the Company to implement its marketing strategy and to expand its business in the worldwide market; the ability of the Company to build its production facility up to the level of efficiency and output of its planned production; and changes in laws and government regulations applicable to the Company, including laws in foreign nations. SOURCE WorldWater Corp. Web

Evergreen Solar Has Successful IPO

Investors may want to pay heed to an offering from Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR).

The Waltham, Massachusetts-based provider of solar power panels, cells, and systems debuted on Thursday and recorded the second-best opening-day return of the week. After pricing its 3 million-share offering at $14 per share, the middle of its $13-to-$15 price range, Evergreen’s shares opened just slightly higher at $15.75. But by the end of the day on Thursday, its shares had rallied to close at $19, a 36 percent premium to where they were offered.

While a solar energy company might seem outside the realm of interest among technology investors, Eric Prouty, senior energy technology analyst at Robertson Stephens in San Francisco, says it’s really not that different from semiconductor manufacturing companies. After all, solar panels convert light into electricity, which is the most basic function of a semiconductor. So in some ways, it’s a matter of investors thinking outside their standard technology investment box and looking at the ways that companies like Evergreen Solar can bring the latest technology to an area of the market that has traditionally been seen as “low-tech” and dominated by the traditional smokestack companies.

Unlike the recent emergence of alternative energy sources such as fuel cells, flywheels, and microturbines, Mr. Prouty says that solar power energy has been out of the lab and in the commercial markets for 20 to 30 years. So there really is not a need to explain in any great detail what solar energy is or the benefits it can offer. But perhaps there is some question among investors why these companies are popping up in the IPO market now.

WHY SOLAR? WHY NOW? The answer, says Mr. Prouty, is that companies like Evergreen Solar and its competitor AstroPower (Nasdaq: APWR) are attempting to ramp up their manufacturing capabilities. AstroPower and Evergreen Solar are looking to double their manufacturing capacity in order to take advantage of the growing worldwide demand for solar energy.

“World-wide demand continues to be extremely robust and mostly from countries outside the U.S.,” says Mr. Prouty, who points to countries like Germany and Spain that have offered financial incentives to encourage consumers to choose this alternative energy source.

Japan, the U.S., Germany, and India together account for more than 52 percent of total solar panel installations worldwide, according to PV Energy Systems, a solar-power research firm. Annual worldwide sales of solar power products are expected to increase to about $27 billion by 2020 from the approximately $1.5 billion in sales, or more than 150 megawatts, generated in 1998, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The demand is so intense in Asia that Evergreen recently formed a five-year strategic distribution and marketing relationship with Japan’s Kawasaki. As part of the partnership, Kawasaki invested $5 million in Evergreen Solar. Japan is currently the largest solar power market in the world, accounting for 27 percent of the world-wide solar power shipments in 1998, according to PV Energy Systems.

With alternative sources of energy clearly rising to the top of the agenda for many countries in light of global warming and concerns of rising rates of oil consumption, investors might consider an investment in nontraditional technology companies like Evergreen Solar. While it is clearly not as sexy as a fiber-optic component maker, alternative energy sources form a market that is not going to dry up anytime soon, and savvy investors could stand to profit from that growth.