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San Diego Boasts Burgeoning CleanTech Cluster

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPEgFceAp64

Video published December 3, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Is the San Diego region well-positioned to take advantage of future growth in the green technology industry? KPBS environment and business reporter Ed Joyce joins us to discuss the potential growth of clean technology industries in San Diego.

Is the San Diego region well-positioned to take advantage of future growth in the green technology industry? KPBS environment and business reporter Ed Joyce joins us to discuss the potential growth of clean technology industries in San Diego.

Guest

Ed Joyce, KPBS environment and business reporter

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

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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