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Earth2Tech's Top 7 Cities for Cleantech

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Notable startups: Propel Fuels, PowerIt, Helion.

Focus: Biofuels, trash-to-fuel, algae fuel, energy efficiency tech.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels drafted the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Action Agreement and has since gone on to turn his city into an environmental leader. In addition to some of the most aggressive green building codes in the country, Nickels recently announced his intention to build an extensive charging network in the city. Despite the downturn in biofuels, the city boasts some of the best access to biodiesel anywhere in the country, thanks in part to its ties to the agricultural community. It continues to offer support to biofuel companies such as Propel Fuels (in both Sacramento and Seattle).

Proximity to Boeing’s U.S. headquarters also makes Seattle attractive for cleantech companies (for cleantech R&D and algae jet fuel), as does its local socially responsible bank Shorebank Pacific; active and well-funded social development fund ShoreBank Cascadia Enterprise; cleantech-hungry VCs like Cascadia Capital; and regional utility Puget Sound Energy, which is aiming to quickly ramp up its renewable energy purchases and is open to testing out new technologies, including a $50 million trash-to-fuel pilot. Seattle is also tired of losing out on cleantech cred to its West Coast southern neighbors, which makes it willing to do quite a bit to attract cleantech start-ups and retain its current roster of cleantech companies, including energy management solution provider PowerIt and nuclear-energy company Helion.

Next up: Portland »

Image credit: chethan shankar.

6 Responses to “Earth2Tech's Top 7 Cities for Cleantech”

  1. Frank

    In electronics yes, biotechnology yes, clean technology no. Policy capitals are most important, DC, Sacramento, etc. It’s just so easy to go to the traditional “tech” cities and explore. Might try digging a little deeper next time. San Jose employment numbers are…questionable.

  2. An important addition to your CleanTech cities is list San Diego with over 220 (list at clean tech companies and growing. San Diego has national leaders in clean tech, wind, solar, biomass, biofuels, algae, climate research, and sustainability,

    San Diego is leveraging its traditional national strength in biotech, wireless, renewables and research which has created a vibrant cluster of clean tech firms. A few of the San Diego clean tech firms are; Apterra, Sythetnic genomics, Sapphire, AES Wind, enXco Wind, Kyocera solar, Envision Solar, Applied Solar, Fallbrook Technologies, General Atomics biofuels, General Atomics fusion research facility, ISE Corp, Knight & Carver Wind Group, Oak Creek Energy, CleanTech Energy, and Wildcat Discovery Technologies. There are too many clean tech companies in San Diego to list here.

    San Diego has a trade association, CleanTech San Diego, dedicated to promoting and supporting clean tech firms. Other associations provide services services for emerging firms including; Biocom, Connect, Commnexus and the California Center for Sustainability.

    There have been many national publications recently with articles on San Diego leadership role in Clean Tech including; Earth2Tech, CleanTech Magazine, Renewable Energy World, Environmental Protection News and Energy Current.