Will cleantech clusters help? New England charges ahead

David Hochschild, VP of external relations at Solaria, in his acceptance speech for the Sierra Club‘s first Sierra Club San Francisco Chapter Trail-Blazer award, mentioned that in 2009 “Germany, a country with 1/3 the population of the United States, 40% less annual sunlight, installed six times more solar power than the United States.” He continues to note how we should be leading, not following, in this area.

Interestingly, Shawn Lesser, the president and founder of Atlanta-based Sustainable World Capital, writes in an article published on the CleanTech Group’s Web site that cleantech clusters are turning out to be a powerful means to promoting regional innovation and investment in clean technology. He rates the Top 10 such cleantech clusters, and includes the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC) as #2, sandwiched between leader Austria Eco World Styria and #3 Finnish Cleantech Cluster. Knowing how much more committed European nations are to clean energy, we should be proud of NECEC being near the top of this list.

Interestingly a February 8 Ernst & Young press release places New England as the third leading region for cleantech venture capital investment in the US, at $283.7 million for 2009 and behind only Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area.

If we divided the US by region, would certain regions end up in worldwide leadership positions when it comes to investing in, developing and deploying clean(er) energy solutions? As a member of NECEC and other organizations working towards similar goals, we will do our part to make it happen!


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