Saturday, May 10, 2008

Reports and Articles on Bay Area Cleantech industry

The reports and articles listed below reveal the strength and extremely promising economic potential of the emerging cleantech phenomenon, globally and particularly in the Bay Area, even during the current economic downturn affecting all other business sectors.

These reports clearly indicate that it would be far better for the healthy economic future of Benicia if the Seeno Business Park proposal would begin Phase I of the project in the industrial zone (with a specific focus on cleantech R&D and industrial production) instead of the currently proposed Phase I focused on a freeway-oriented commercial development.

The reports describe a dramatic explosion of University R&D, spin off businesses, government initiatives and grants, venture capital, etc., all focused on cleantech innovations spread across a wide spectrum of industries. So far, most of the action has been focused in the South Bay (Silicon Valley area) and San Francisco, but they are experiencing increasing pressure to locate elsewhere due to space constraints, housing costs, and traffic congestion.

Benicia is perfectly situated to capitalize on this economic opportunity, as we are situated 40 minutes from both UC Davis and UC Berkeley -- two of the key cleantech research centers -- with acres of vacant land already zoned industrial. We also have a perfectly matched employment pool (well educated, much of it white-collar professional, management, office, and skilled technical), most of whom currently have to commute elsewhere for jobs. And we have relatively low cost housing (in comparison to Silicon Valley and SF) and good schools. Since cleantech R&D would probably also pull some researchers from the university centers of Berkeley and San Francisco, it might give us a better shot at getting a ferry stop here. This could be Benicia's golden egg. But only if we act now, gaining first move advantage while the opportunity is still fresh.

Here is a link to Benicia's 10-year Economic Development Strategy which was adopted by the City Council Sept. 2007. On page 9 it sets out our city's strategy to increase "campus-style office" and "clean energy, high-tech R&D uses in our industrial districts" over the next 10 years. And on page 11 it states that such uses are more likely to provide jobs for Benicians because of our community demographics (which are described on page 2 & 3). It states on page 12, "The City Council's adoption of this Strategy will provide policy direction to City employees and a clear message to prospective businesses about our community priorities and economic development interests."

Please click on the links below to read these important reports and articles that document the cleantech economic opportunity:


1. Clean Technology And the Green Economy, March 2008

2. Clean Energy Trends 2008 , March 2008

3. Innovative Energy Solutions from the SF Bay Area: Fueling a Clean Energy Future, June 2007

4. The Economic Development Potential of the Green Sector, June 2006


1. Bay Area in league of its own
"New game: Cleantech didn't even have a name five years ago."
San Francisco Business Times, Jan. 4, 2008

2. Hopeful cleantech hubs proliferate around the bay
"Cleantech is the Bay Area's future."
San Francisco Busines Times, Dec. 14, 2007

3. East Bay mayors, UC unite for 'Green Wave'
East Bay leaders, hoping to capitalize on energy research emerging from UC and LBL, intend to create a regional environmental hub.
Chronicle, SFGate, Dec. 4, 2007

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