Growing Green: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Cleantech Innovation in San Diego

11/20/09

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our utility, through a $99.8 million U.S. Department of Energy grant, recently announced plans with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), to build out the largest transportation electrification project in the nation. Debra L. Reed, SDG&E’s CEO, says the project will make San Diego “a national center for clean technology that will help achieve our nation’s goals of energy independence and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions.” ETec, a subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc. (OTCBB: ETLY), also is partnering with Nissan North America to introduce thousands of electric vehicles and significant charging infrastructure in five markets, including San Diego. As eTec President Don Karner said, “By studying lessons learned from electric vehicle operations and the infrastructure supporting these first 5,000 vehicles, the project will enable the streamlined deployment of the next 5 million electric vehicles.”

The San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership is building a voluntary consortium of business, academic, government, and other groups to promote sustainability, reduce pollution, enact energy savings, and improve quality of life in the region. Other non-profits that are advancing specific cleantech topics include the San Diego Renewable Energy Society, which promotes the use of solar energy, and the San Diego Clean Fuels Coalition, which is helping to advance the use of cleaner fuels and vehicles.

—The San Diego Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has over 600 members. Executive director Gary Gibson, who works to advance the use of greener building techniques in San Diego, says, “Our goal is to make San Diego the greenest city in California.” In addition to maintaining the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard for green building certification, the USGBC helps people earn green credentials as LEED AP (accredited profession) and LEED Green Associate.

—The City of San Diego has a lot at stake in the growth of cleantech, helping both the local economy and the local environment with its outreach to the business community, and recycling offered through the city Department of Environmental Services. A key contact for cleantech businesses Jacques Chirazi, manager of the city’s cleantech initiative in the City Planning & Community Investment Department. “We help them to navigate the process,” Chirazi says. The city is also working to stimulate the demand for green products and services by developing a financing alternative for … Next Page »

Robert Noble is the founder, chairman, and CEO of San Diego-based Envision Solar International, Inc. and Chairs the California Center for Sustainable Energy. He is an architect, environmental designer, industrial designer and environmental technology entrepreneur. Follow @

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  • http://www.cleanTALKsd.org Holli Garrett

    I would like to add one more networking group. Founded early in 2009, CleanTALK San Diego Professional Networking Group is a non-profit association focused on creating networking and educational opportunities for professional involved in and interested in the clean technology industry.

    After 45 minutes of enjoyable networking, the group sets down to hear a presentation from a local clean tech company. The topics in 2009 covered biofuels, presented by Verenium; solar panels, presented by a series of panelists; and electric vehicles, presented by the SD Clean Fuels Coalition. The 2010 calendar promises to discuss smart grids, wind, desalination, biomimicry and more.

    The meetings occur every two months at various locations around town.

  • http://www.cleanTALKsd.org Holli Garrett

    I would like to add one more networking group. Founded early in 2009, CleanTALK San Diego Professional Networking Group is a non-profit association focused on creating networking and educational opportunities for professional involved in and interested in the clean technology industry.

    After 45 minutes of enjoyable networking, the group sets down to hear a presentation from a local clean tech company. The topics in 2009 covered biofuels, presented by Verenium; solar panels, presented by a series of panelists; and electric vehicles, presented by the SD Clean Fuels Coalition. The 2010 calendar promises to discuss smart grids, wind, desalination, biomimicry and more.

    The meetings occur every two months at various locations around town. See the website for more details.

  • http://thechiefgreenofficer.com The Chief Green Officer

    I would like to add another company as well. I’m an owner in EcoHub, which launches next Thursday (Feb 25th). EcoHub is a new co-working and flex-space campus centrally located at 4542 Ruffner St. off Balboa at I-805. EcoHub is designed to provide green entrepreneurs with a unique professional space to collaborate, grow and thrive. Members will have access to conference rooms, business services and office suites of virtually any size to expand into. EcoHub is poised to be the center of the fast-growing green business community.

    Please call 1-888-277-6304 and dial “0″ to leave a message, and a representative will contact you shortly. This is the office space of choice for small environmental ventures.