|Cleantech Could Jump-Start California Economy|
January 27, 2009
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.