The 5 Best Cities for Cleantech Companies

boston This week's Clean Energy Economy report from Pew Charitable Trusts showed that the cleantech industry is rapidly expanding, and shows no signs of slowing down. Now PhysOrg provides us with a list of the top five cities that offer opportunities for cleantech companies hunting for a home base.

1. Boston

This East Coast city was the home of $387.17 million in greentech projects last year, representing a gain of 6.8% from 2007. The city is also host to a $500 million solar initiative and a $2 million affordable green housing project, as well as numerous cleantech companies like Boston Power, EnerNoc, and 1366 Technologies.

2. Denver

Home to more than just altitude junkies, this city has the first major airport to reach strict 14001 standards. Denver is also home to the world's biggest wind turbine maker, Vestas, along with solar company Conergy. Neighboring Boulder is also set to become the country's first smart grid city.

3. Seattle

Seattle is aiming to become a cleantech R&D hub, with up to $200 million in stimulus funds expected to help further its goal. The city also consistently ranks among the top three U.S. cities cities with the largest number of certified green buildings, and is already home to cleantech companies like Helion, PowerIt, and Propel Fuels.

4. Austin

The home of South by Southwest is also the new headquarters for the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI), which works on research in green transportation, construction, electricity generation, greenhouse gas reduction, and industrial energy efficiency. Local utility Austin Energy is also planning to develop a research consortium to work on smart grid and smart metering project.

5. San Francisco

The City by the Bay is host to a slew of big-name cleantech companies, including GreenVolts, Arch Rock and Grid Net. San Francisco also hosts the Clean Tech Open, a yearly clean technology business competition that offers prize money and the opportunity to network with connect with venture capitalists.

[Via PhysOrg]

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  • Yeves Perez

    Dear Mr. Ariel Schwartz,

    I happen to deeply disagree with this assessment, as I seriously doubt that the researchers at PhysOrg actually traveled to these cities and other competing cities, as I am astonished that #3 Seattle and #4 Austin are in the top five with the words "aiming" and "planning"... I understand that these cities have earned our respect and by no means should my comments diminish the efforts set forth. However, I am appalled that San Diego and Boston we're not competing for the #1 spot.

    The question at hand is: What are 5 U.S. cities that offer possibilities for cleantech companies??

    I do seriously understand the argument for Boston, however it sound like the editors chose a city with a good amount of press releases:

    "1. Boston: In 2008, the Boston area saw an investment of $387.17 million in greentech projects. This represents a gain of 6.8% over 2007 -- not too shabby in a down economy. The Boston area includes Aeronautica Windpower, Conservation Services Group, Boston-Power, Inc., Evergreen Solar, GreatPoint Energy and others."

    I want to take a moment and make the case for my city... San Diego, California.

    Besides the outstanding weather, and the effects good weather year plays in favor of higher productivity , the San Diego region has for too long taken a back seat on the list of Green Cities that offer great potential and here are my top 10 reason why San Diego should compete with Boston.

    #10) A growing Cleantech sector built off the back of the BIOtech and other High-tech industries... and not to mention our award winning Military facilitates for Sustainable practices, and the San Diego Port Authority. In June 2007, the Global Connect Program prepared a very detailed assessment of real assets and capabilities and There is a talented pool of well-trained scientists and engineers for the emerging cleantech industry to draw upon thanks to the presence of other technology clusters, such as biotechnology, wireless telecommunications, and the defense industry.

    #9) The 2007 assessment also noted that there were already 148 cleantech companies are in San Diego. The majority, or 67 companies, offer products or services for energy generation. The next largest groupings are in water and wastewater, energy efficiency, and recycling and waste. Of the 148 cleantech companies in the region, 89 are within the City of San Diego. Among these companies are leaders such as Kyocera Solar, General Atomics, Hydranautics, and the Verenium Corporation.

    #8) San Diego is endowed with certain natural resources, including solar radiation, wind
    power capacity, and energy generated from the ocean, that offer advantages for clean
    technology development. Wind and solar resources are more abundant in the eastern
    portion of San Diego County.

    #7) San Diego is highly vulnerable, year in and year out, to water shortages and sever draughts that lead to devastating wildfire seasons adding to billions in damage claims.

    #6) The city was part of ground zero (all of Southern California) that was victim to the outragous energy hikes and rolling blackouts the Enron left in it's wake and every year as he City's population increases the potential for multi "brown outs" are high every summer.

    #5) In 2008, one cleantech company allow received $100 million in investment. Sapphire Energy took another step closer to bringing Green Crude Production to commercial scale today through a Series B round in the fall during the "Crash". Sapphire is now financed to scale up its production facilities to full commercial feasibility. Sapphire anticipates relying on existing investors to achieve its initial commercial production capability of 10,000 barrels per day. Sapphire’s investors include ARCH Venture Partners, Wellcome Trust, Venrock and Cascade Investment, LLC, an investment holding company owned by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

    #4) The region boasts many Cleantech advocacy and support groups, such as Clean Tech San Diego, The San Diego Sustainability Alliance, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy, which boasted a slew of Fueling Alternatives that was funded by the California Air Resources Board ( CARB). CCSE quickly exhausted a total of $1.8 million which was appropriated and directed toward vehicle incentive rebates to promote the use and production of alternative fuel vehicles.

    #3) The City of San Diego also boasts some of the most talented Green Leaders in the State, such as San Diego's Cinderella solar startup, Envision Solar, local green building Juggernaut, Green House International, Inc., which acquired the distribution rights to a new technology called "the micro-fueler" in Southern California and Arizona. This technology alone has sparked an Organic Fuel revolution that was endorsed and embraced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    #2) The city is raising up and incubating new talent an leadership with the leadership of UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Rady School of Management, and the Sustainable Solutions Institute and San Diego Sate University's Enviro Business Society.

    #1) We can't forget Carolyn Chase with, formed in January 2004 by citizens, environmentalists, bicyclists, pedestrians and transportation experts to build broad support for sustainable transportation systems and land-use policies. She is also CEO of San Diego Earth Works, which produces the largest Earth Day event in the country!

    Check out my Vlog! Tell me what you think? It's Called, "The Chief Green Officer".