Report: Cleantech Could Jump-Start California Economy

Jan 27 2009 | 12:02am ET

Investments in clean energy and efficiency will help spark economic growth in California, says venture capitalist Noel Perry, founder of Next 10, a Palo Alto non-profit.

The group released a report this week showing the effects of green tech on the California economy. Prepared for Next 10 by Collaborative Economics, a Silicon Valley firm, the report says California had about 100,000 “green” jobs in 2007, including occupations as varied research scientists, wind-energy technicians and solar panel installers.

The report also says that efficiency measures adopted by the state over the last 30 years have created 1.5 million jobs and allowed California businesses to produce their goods and services more efficiently.

California led the country in 2002-2007 in patent registrations for green technologies, particularly in the fields of solar energy, fuel cells and batteries.

Venture investments in California cleantech companies in 2008 reached $3.3 billion – a record high, despite steep stock-market declines – and represented 57% of total U.S. investment in the segment. Silicon Valley companies were on the receiving end of $1.8 billion of that. A full 69% of the money went to energy-generation projects; 8% went to transportation.

As the Obama administration turns to energy-efficiency and renewable energy to create jobs, California could export its expertise to other states, according to Perry.

Related Sites:

Next 10: California Green Innovation Index
Collaborative Economics

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