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Alternative Energy : An Investment for our Generation and the Future
by Eric Packer, Principal and Branch Manager of Progressive Asset Management, a division of Financial West Group

Many investors have been diversifying their portfolios by buying stocks in the alternative energy and the energy de-regulation industry. These companies are developing the new, cutting edge renewable and sustainable technologies to produce energy from a variety of sources, including wind, solar, and geothermal power; as well as fuel cells, and alternative fuels. Several factors driving this investor interest in these two areas are: the California power crisis resulting from both the shortage of available energy and the high price of oil and natural gas; the ongoing problem of permanent safe disposal for nuclear waste; concern about the environment if the U.S. should drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the growth in high technology and Internet use, which creates additional power demands. In this article, we will profile six alternative energy companies, a clean energy wholesaler and an alternative energy Mutual Fund. These investments may provide long-term growth potential for those investors seeking to benefit from the trend toward alternative energy and deregulation.

FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL) Located in Danbury, Connecticut, FuelCell Energy develops fuel cells designed to provide power for generators, including those in hospitals, schools, and waste water treatment plants. With no combustion involved, fuel cells are much cleaner than fossil fuels, producing no harmful emissions. Use of fuel cells runs the gamut across all sorts of different technologies, from providing power to cell phones to use in the automotive markets.

    Stock price (52-week range): $24.5-$108.75 - As of 6/25: $25.25
    Market Cap: $1.204b
    P/E: N/A

York Research Corporation (NASDAQ: YORKE) New York Cityıs York Research Corporation develops renewable energy projects that convert wind energy to electric power. The cost of wind power is seen as becoming competitive with centrally-generated electricity. Wind power would be especially effective in Massachusetts, because the winds off Cape Cod are capable of generating vast amounts of energy.
    Stock price (52-week range): $.625- $3.93 - As of 6/25: $2.81
    Market Cap: $52.4 mil
    P/E: 13.75

Spire Corporation (NASDAQ: SPIR) Spire Corporation, in Bedford, Massachusetts, lets the sun shine in by being a leading supplier of the manufacturing equipment and technology needed to produce solar power. More than 90% of the modules used to convert solar power to electricity on the market today are manufactured by Spire.
    Stock price (52-week range): $1.82-$8.75 - As of 6/25: $4.50 Market Cap: $36.8 mil P/E: N/A

Headwaters Incorporated (NASDAQ: HDWR) Utahıs Headwaters has developed an alternative source of energy that truly is an alternative. The company uses a unique chemical technology that interacts with carbon based energy sources to produce an alternative fuel. Their technology is used to recycle by-products from the coal and steel industries to create other clean marketable sources of fuel.
    Stock price (52 week range): $1.6875-$15.8 - As of 6/25: $10.14
    Market Cap: $348.6 mil
    P/E: 22.21

Calpine Incorporated (NYSE: CPN) Headquartered in San Jose, California, Calpine Incorporated produces electricity for both residential and industrial uses. Calpine supplies more than 36 million households with electric power produced from natural gas, one of the cleanest methods to generate electricity. Calpine is also the largest producer of renewable geothermal energy. The company owns 19 geothermal plants at The Geysers, 100 miles north of San Francisco. Each plant supplies renewable power for a variety of industrial users, including government institutions and electric utilities.
    Stock price (52-week range): $27.4063-$58.04 - As of 6/25: $38.97
    Market Cap: $12.842 bil
    P/E: 32.19

Fuel-Tech NV (NASDAQ: FTEK) Located in Stamford, Connecticut, Fuel-Tech N.V. is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing global focus on environmental issues. The company is a leading producer of patented air pollution control technologies, which are currently in use in over 260 combustion units located world-wide. Fuel-Tech N.V. was recently awarded multiple contracts totaling $2.0 million to install their air pollution control technologies in industrial units in the United States and Europe.
    Stock price (52-week range): $1.25-$3.84 - As of 6/25: $3.03
    Market Cap: $64.5 mil
    P/E: N/A

Impco Technologies (NASDAQ: IMCO) Fuel cell technology offers a promising source of clean energy. But in order to do its job, a fuel cell must do it efficiently. Thatıs where Impco Technologies comes in. Headquartered in Cerritos, California, Impco designs and manufactures equipment that optimizes fuel cell system performance. The company also manufactures fuel storage and delivery systems so that internal combustion engines can run on clean-burning fuels, such as hydrogen and natural gas, which produce very little polluting emissions.
    Stock price (52-week range): $9.75-$44.875 - as of 6/25 $31.49
    Market Cap: $381.3 mil
    P/E: N/A
Since these stocks are aggressive growth in nature, the above mentioned companies and other alternative energy firms are inherently volatile. Investors should consider diversifying their holdings by investing in a number of different companies using a "basket approach," which enables investors to help reduce their overall risk.

The New Alternatives Fund is available for investors who are more comfortable investing in a mutual fund, rather than in individual stocks. Founded in 1982, The New Alternatives Fund was the first environmental mutual fund. The Fund focuses on progressive, innovative companies that are working to develop clean, renewable energy sources. The Fund also invests in companies that produce organically grown food, as well as businesses that practice environmentally sound policies such as recycling, conservation, and pollution control.

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Eric Packer is a Principal and Branch Manager of Progressive Asset Management, a division of Financial West Group, Member, NASD, SIPC, MSRB, (www.progressiveassetmanagement.com), a socially and environmentally responsible investment firm in Wellesley Hills, MA. For further information on the alternative energy companies and the New Alternatives Fund described in this article, as well as other alternative energy companies, please call 800.327.7003.

The above represents neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy securities. This can be made by prospectus only. Actual performance numbers have been obtained from a reliable source, but cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

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