NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netlist ( NLST) was the prominent gainer in the small-cap space, rising 13% to $2.74, a day after it announced that it had received three patents related to "hypercloud memory" technology.

Small-cap natural gas vehicle plays were in the spotlight Wednesday as President Obama addressed the nation on his plans to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Reports suggest that his plan would include support for natural gas vehicles. Natural gas engine maker Westport Innovations ( WPRT) and natural gas transportation infrastructure play Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE) were up 10.8% and 10.5% respectively. Clean Energy Fuels CEO Andrew Littlefair, failed in a major lobbying campaign in 2010 to see through its Natural Gas Act to legislative passage.

Shares of RXi Pharmaceutical ( RXII) were gaining 16.6% on unusual volumes.

Solar stocks were shining on reports that China may double its target for photovoltaic power capacity over the next five years in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis. Shares of Trina Solar ( TSL), SunTech Power ( STP), LDK Solar ( LDK), JA Solar ( JASO) and Renesola ( SOL) were gaining smartly, up between 2% and 4%.

Emcore ( EMKR), a New Mexico-based manufacturer of fiber optics and solar photovoltaic products, acquired certain assets of commercial rooftop concentrated photovoltaic systems company Soliant Energy for an undisclosed sum.

The Soliant assets acquired by Emcore include the equipment, inventory, software, licenses, intellectual property, and tooling for the rooftop solar energy product line. Emcore plans to integrate the former Soliant research and development and pilot production line into its existing facilities located in Alhambra, CA. The commercial manufacturing operation is expected to transfer to Emcore's low-cost manufacturing joint venture, Suncore, based in Huainan, China. Shares were up 9.6% to $2.66.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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