Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pres. Obama to Nation - Our Economic Recovery 'Begins With Energy'

/PRNewswire/ -- President Obama's first speech to a Joint Session of Congress last night was almost entirely devoted to the troubled economy. Amid a deepening recession Obama described the $787 Billion stimulus as one of the bold steps his five week old administration is implementing to turn the US economy around.

In the speech, Obama vowed to spend $15 billion a year to develop renewable energy. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century," he said. The administration's Secretary of Energy, Stephen Chu, announced on Monday an immediate fast-tracking of all applications from wind and solar companies for stimulus dollars to kick-start the construction of more projects.

Assuming wind companies receive the lion's share of stimulus dollars (wind power accounted for 95% of the renewable energy built over the last five years), the stimulus is expected to lead to the construction of 30,000-megawatts of additional capacity, according to Hugh Wynne, an analyst at Bernstein Research - enough new wind power to supply 9 million American homes.

Wind farm developer NACEL Energy (OTC:NCEN) (BULLETIN BOARD: NCEN) CEO Brian Lavery said, "We ran the numbers and the impact as we understand the new stimulus incentives for wind power are really quite significant." NACEL has four wind power projects underway in the Texas Panhandle. Advisory Research has a positive rating on NACEL and a $3.07 valuation.

Accelerating construction of wind farms is also expected to lead to a recovery in the turbine market in the second half of 2009. In recent months manufacturers General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Vestas (Pink Sheets: VWDRY), as well as companies which supply the carbon fiber for turbine blades such as Hexcel (NYSE:HXL) and Zoltek (NASDAQ:ZOLT) , have all experienced slowing demand. Yesterday KeyBanc Capital Markets announced a new buy rating on Hexcel and a $10 valuation.

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