San Diego’s Burgeoning CleanTech Cluster
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San Diego’s Burgeoning CleanTech Cluster


SAN DIEGO IS A HUB FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY, BUT
WHAT ABOUT GREEN TECHNOLOGY LIKE SOLAR POWER PACK MANY PEOPLE ARE BANKING ON SAN DIEGO
TO BECOME A POWERFUL CENTER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF GREEN TECH. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THE GROWTH OF CLEANER
TECHNOLOGY AND SAN DIEGO IS ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY REPORTER EDDIE. NOW WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? THEY ARE INTERCHANGEABLE TERMS. WE ARE TALKING
ABOUT SOLAR, WIND, ALGAE, BIOFUEL, THAT KIND OF DEVELOPMENT ENERGY SOURCES. TELL US ABOUT THIS GROUP CALLED TO TO CLEAN
A TECH SAN DIEGO. WHO WHO ARE THEY, HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN AROUND, AND WHAT DO THEY DO
NEXT. THEY STARTED IN 2007, IT’S AN INDUSTRY TRADE
GROUP. THEY HAVE CLUSTERED TOGETHER THESE ECONOMIES WORKING IN GREEN TECH OR THE GREEN
ECONOMY IN SAN DIEGO. AND THAT INCLUDES RESEARCHERS, ALGAE BIOFUELS, SOLAR, WIND TECHNOLOGY, AT
ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS, THE WHOLE IDEA WAS TO DEVELOP THIS CLUSTER IN THIS GROUP TO DEVELOP
JOBS IN THIS NEW CLEAN OR GREEN ECONOMY. JOBS IS THE MAGIC WORD, EVERYONE WANTS TO
DEVELOP JOBS, BUT WHAT RECENT DO THEY THINK THIS IS ALL GOING TO GROW A? WHAT IS DRIVING THIS IS THE WORLDS NEED TO
GET AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS, SPECIFICALLY OIL, AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS FROM BURNING
THOSE FUELS. SO THERE IS A GREAT DRIVE ACROSS THE WORLD AND IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY ALSO TO
HELP DEVELOP ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF FUEL OR ENERGY, SUCH AS ALGAE FUELS FOR EXAMPLE, OR
SOLAR OR WIND TECHNOLOGY. CERTAINLY WE ARE HEARING MORE ABOUT IT THAN
WE HAD HEARD IN THE PAST, BUT I’M WONDERING HOW MUCH OF OUR ECONOMY THIS WOULD REALLY
IMPACT THE? IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO IMPACT THROUGHOUT
OUR ECONOMY, BECAUSE WE ARE LOOKING AT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AND FUEL SOURCES OF THE FUTURE THAT
ARE BEING MODIFIED NOT TO BE USED IN THE PRESENT, BUT LOOKING DOWN THE ROAD THE WHOLE IDEA IS
TO GET AWAY FROM DEPENDENCY ON FOREIGN OIL AND MOVE TOWARDS THOSE ALTERNATIVE SOURCES.
WE CAN’T CONTINUE TO USE OIL AND COAL AS WE HAVE IN THE PAST WITHOUT EFFECTS TO THE CLIMATE. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT JOBS, WE WONDER WHAT WE
ARE TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF NUMBERS OF JOBS. HOW MANY JOBS COULD THIS ACTUALLY PROVIDE? IT COULD BE UNLIMITED. IF IT’S AN INDUSTRY
SECTOR, THE GROWTH RATE COULD BE TREMENDOUS. SOMEONE TOLD ME THE GROWTH RATE IN CALIFORNIA
HAS BEEN 36% OVER A 10 YEAR TIMECODE. AND WHILE THE ECONOMY IS SHRINKING, ITS TECH SECTION
IS EXPANDING. CHINA IS INVESTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN COMING UP WITH THE NEW SOLUTIONS
USING SOLAR, WIND AND OTHER ALTERNATIVES. SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THAT WORLDWIDE PERSPECTIVE
THAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT, HOW IS SAN DIEGO POSITIONED IN ORDER TO TAKE TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THIS GLOBAL INTEREST IN CLEAN TECH? JUST THIS WEEK THEY BECAME PART OF AN INTERNATIONAL
ASSOCIATION WHICH TENDS TO CLUSTER THESE GROUPS,, AND THEY USED THIS CLUSTERING AS A WAY TO
SHARE INFORMATION, WOO INVESTORS, SHARE IDEAS AND PROMOTE WHAT THEY ARE DEVELOPING IN THE
COMPANIES IN THOSE CLUSTERS. SAN DIEGO HAS A CLEAN TECH CLUSTER AND THEY ARE PART OF
A LARGER GROUP NOW INTERNATIONALLY AND THEY HOPE TO SHARE IDEAS AND EXPORT THE TECHNOLOGY
FROM WHAT THEY ARE DEVELOPING IN SAN DIEGO TWO OTHER COUNTRIES. GEOGRAPHICALLY IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE TO WHERE
WE ARE LOCATED? SAN DIEGO HAS THE ECOSYSTEM NECESSARY FOR
THAT CLEAN TECH SECTOR. YOU HAVE ACADEMIC RESEARCHERS AND INSTITUTIONS, LOTS OF COMPANIES
NOW DEVELOPING SOLAR AND WIND TECHNOLOGIES, A WHOLE MAKEUP OF THE SUPPORT AT BASE HERE
THAT IS DEVELOPING AND GROWING THAT. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS,
ARE WE ACTUALLY SEEING A BREAST AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL TO TRY TO DEVELOP HIS OR THIS OR EVEN
EDUCATE PEOPLE SO THAT THEY CAN BECOME PART OF THIS? CERTAINLY. THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES HAVE THAT
ROLE AND STATE FUNDING FOR TRAINING PROGRAMS. THEY ARE DOING A LOT OF RESEARCH AND UNIVERSITY
OF SAN DIEGO IS ALSO INVOLVED. EVERYONE HAS A LITTLE PIECE OF THE PIE AND IT LOOKS PROMISING
FOR THE FUTURE. YOU KNOW WHAT I FIND INTERESTING, PEOPLE ARE
SO PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE AND JOBS AND CAREERS. BUT IT SOUNDS TO ME AS THOUGH THEY
BE THE FUTURE FOR CLEAN TECH HAS A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. THE SECTOR IS GROWING, AND THERE IS NO STOPPING
THE GROWTH. THE REST OF THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN CONTRACTING IN SOME WAYS BUT THAT SECTOR HAS
BEEN GROWING. GEORGE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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