Thu, Jan 29, 2009 - Page 6 News List

FEATURE: Recession’s cloud has solar lining in Silicon Valley

DPA , SAN FRANCISCO

“Weakened capital markets and low demand will continue to constrain new project investment in 2009,” says Alex Klein, research director at Emerging Energy Research. “But the fundamentals for a significant transformation in energy infrastructure — and the corresponding investment opportunity — over the long term remain sound.”

For now, however, the transformation is painful.

Every day, the papers are filled with stories of people losing their jobs and their homes, car dealers going out of business, companies struggling to pay workers and city and state governments facing huge deficits.

The economic disruption has had a life-changing impact on folks like Concepcion Urias, who owns a small Mexican eatery just down the road from the headquarters of Internet retailing giant eBay. The business slowdown forced her to cut hours for her two employees, just as rent went up on her humble restaurant, and her loan payments on her home are set to rise.

“This restaurant was my dream. But now I’m not sure what to do to save it,” said Urias, 47, who came to the US from Mexico in 1977.

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