This article discusses that world-class manufacturers have been examining alternatives to the traditional energy market. Companies such as ABB in Zurich and Capstone Turbine Corp. in Chatsworth, CA, have been taking orders for installations of distributed generation plants running on natural gas. Capstone, which made its initial public offering this past summer, specializes in marketing microturbines for generating electricity. According to ABB, demand for alternative energy sources and distributed power generation—including wind farms, fuel cells, and small combined heat and power plants—is a rapidly growing market. This market has been sparked in large part by deregulation, which has forced power suppliers to put a higher priority on profitability. ABB has been working to build a reputation for concern over a number of sensitive issues, particularly protection of the environment and conservation of resources. ABB planned to build a power plant near the rural village of Broadclyst, which was also home to a number of articulate opponents who had a talent for organizing themselves.

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