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California Compares Favorably To Other Countries In The Clean Technology Arena

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May 18, 2015 1:05 p.m.

California Compares Favorably To Other Countries In The Clean Technology Arena

GUESTS:

Jason Anderson, president & CEO, CleanTech San Diego

Renae Steichen, clean economy practice manager for collaborative economics, Next 10

Related Story: California Compares Favorably To Other Countries In The Clean Technology Arena

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.

OUR TOP STORY ON MIDDAY EDITION, SAN DIEGO AND CALIFORNIA USUALLY COME IN AT THE TOP OF THE LIST IN NATIONAL RANKINGS ON DEVELOPING CLEAN TECHNOLOGY. BUT THIS TIME THEY ARE ALSO AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD. THE NONPARTISAN RESEARCH FIRM NEXT 10 BINDS CALIFORNIA IS IN THE TOP 10 GLOBALLY IN CLEAN ENERGY PRODUCTION USE AND PRODUCTIVITY. BUT GOOD IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD ENOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO REACHING STATE CARBON EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS. RECENTLY GOVERNOR. JERRY BROWN STEPPED UP THE TIMETABLE TO REACH STATE GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION TOTALS WHICH MEANS RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT WILL BE EVEN MORE CRITICAL TO CALIFORNIA. JOINING ME IS JASON ANDERSON, HE IS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CLEANTECH SAN DIEGO. WELCOME.
THANK YOU KOMORI.
AND RENAE STEICHEN IS CO-AUTHOR OF THE NEXT 10 REPORT. THE CALIFORNIA GREEN INNOVATION INDEX. RELAY, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.
RAY. THANK YOU.
JASON POWELL WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO THIS IMPRESSIVE RANKING FOR CALIFORNIA? IS THIS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE EXPECTED IN AN INTERNATIONAL RANKING OF CLEAN TECHNOLOGY?
IT IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE EXPECTED. WE ARE ACTUALLY REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE WORK THE NEXT 10 HAS DONE AND REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS REPORT. WE HAVE CLEAN TECH SAN DIEGO WORKED POSITION SAN DIEGO IS A GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED LEADER IN INNOVATION AND ADOPTION OF CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES. EAST TYPES OF REPORTS REALLY MAKE IT EASY FOR US TO DO THAT.
RENÉE, WHAT AREAS OF GREEN INNOVATION TO THIS INDEX LOOK AT?
YES, THIS 2015 GREEN INNOVATION INDEX USES THE SAME INDICATORS THAT WE HAVE IN THE PAST HOW BUT COMPARES CALIFORNIA AGAINST THE WORLD 50 BIGGEST GREEN HOUSE GAS EMISSION -- EMITTING AGENTS. A CUSTOMER ECONOMIC INDICATORS, GDP AND OMISSIONS AND ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY AS WELL AS RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION, CLEANTECH INVESTMENTS, PATENTS AND OTHER KEY METRICS.
AND WHICH OTHER GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS REGIONS OF THE WORLD HAVE THE LEAST CARBON INTENSIVE ECONOMIES? IN OTHER WORDS, WHERE EXACTLY THIS CALIFORNIA SIT IN THESE RANKINGS?
OUT OF THE TOP 50 EMITTERS CALIFORNIA RANKS SECOND AS THE LEAST CARBON INTENSIVE ECONOMY WHICH MEANS FOR EVERY ONE DOLLAR OF GOODS AND SERVICES CALIFORNIA MUCH LESS CARBON THAN ANY OTHER NATION EXCEPT FOR FRANCE WHICH IS THERE ONE.
FRANCE IS BECAUSE IT RELIES SO HEAVILY ON NUCLEAR?
EXACTLY -- EXACTLY. NUCLEAR IS AND OMISSIONS RESOURCES -- SO THAT DEFINITELY MAKES FRANCE HIGH THE RANKINGS.
NOW, INDEX FINDS A CALIFORNIA IS GROWING ITS ECONOMY AT THE SAME TIME THAT IT IS SHRINKING ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT. RENÉE, CAN YOU TELL US SOME WAYS THE STATE IS DOING THAT?
RIGHT. SO BETWEEN 1990 AND 2012, AS YOU SAY, WE CAUGHT OUR ENERGY USE IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS WHILE GROWING THE ECONOMY. ARE EMISSIONS PER CAPITA REDUCED BY 25% WHILE GDP PER CAPITA INCREASED TO 37%. WE DID THIS A LOT BY CUTTING OUR ENERGY PER CAPITA USED FOR ENERGY PER CAPITA FELL 18.5% DURING THIS TIME AND ALSO INCREASING OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY DURING THAT TIME. ADDING MORE CLEAN ENERGY CAPACITY.
JASON, SAN DIEGO USUALLY GETS HIGH RATINGS ON THE USE OF GREEN TECHNOLOGY. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE INNOVATIONS THAT OUR REGION IS UNDERTAKING?
OR IS A NUMBER OF THINGS. I THINK FIRST AND FOREMOST SAN DIEGO, YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT BEING A LEADER, WE ACTUALLY RANKED NUMBER THREE AS A METRO REGION IN THE COUNTRY. BEACHING JUST JUST BEHIND SAN FRANCISCO AND SAN JOSE. IT IS MY GOAL TO BEAT OUT THOSE TWO REGIONS. I THINK LOCALLY, ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE REALLY STRONG HERE IN SAN DIEGO. IN FACT COVER PROTECTS ABOUT THAT ONE THIRD OF THE TVS SOLD FOR ANY US AND HALF OF THOSE WERE IN CALIFORNIA. 16 -- OVER 16,000 THOSE WERE ACTUALLY IN SAN DIEGO. WE HAVE 16,000 EV'S IN OUR REGION. WE HAVE A MOST 900 900 PUBLIC CHARGING STATION AT 321 JUST 44 OF THOSE RDC PAST CHARGES. AS YOU KNOW WE ARE ALSO HOME TO THE ONLY ALL ELECTRIC CAR SHARING FLEET IN THE COUNTRY WITH CAR TO GO. THEY HAVE OVER 400 ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE GROUND HERE. A LOT OF OUR REGION MUNICIPALITIES ARE DOING A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT INNOVATIVE THINGS AROUND STREETLIGHTS AND RETROFITTING THEIR STREETLIGHTS. BY THE END OF THIS YEAR WE WILL HAVE OVER 75,000 STREETLIGHTS RETROFITTED TO LEDS IN THE SAN DIEGO REGION, THAT IS HAVING A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT NOT ONLY OF ENERGY SAVINGS BUT ALSO ELIMINATING CARBON.
I WANT TO TAKE STEP BACK AND MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS ON THE SAME PAGE IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CLEAN TECHNOLOGY, JASON POWELL WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES?
WE ARE. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IN ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES, MORE EFFICIENT WAYS TO USE ENERGY, REDUCING OUR OVERALL ENERGY USAGE. WE ARE TALKING BUT HOW WE PRODUCE ENERGY WETHERBEE FROM UTILITIES HASKELL, GENERATION WERE DISTRIBUTED GENERATION AND A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT OTHER THINGS AS WELL.
THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO HAS A PROPOSED CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, JASON, THAT IS USUALLY DESCRIBED AS AMBITIOUS. IF THAT IS ADOPTED BY THE CITY HOW DO YOU SEE GREEN TECHNOLOGY HELPING THE CITY MEET ITS GOALS?
LET'S SAY PLAN IS A PLAN UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED. SO MY HOPE IS THAT THE CITY WILL ADOPT AN AMBITIOUS PLAN BUT THAT THE CITY WILL ALSO ENACT THAT PLANE. LET'S NOT FORGET THE CITY OF CHULA VISTA ALREADY HAS A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AND HAS HAD ONE FOR QUITE SOME TIME, I BELIEVE SINCE 2000 HAVE THE SAN DIEGO REGIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY HAS DONE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT THINGS TO REDUCE THEIR OVERALL ENERGY FOOTPRINT. THE PORT OF SAN DIEGO IS A LEADER BECOME SUPPORTS AND WHETHER USE ENERGY. MY GOAL OR MY HOPE IS THAT THE CITY WILL NOT ONLY ADOPT THIS THINK OF IT WILL IMPLEMENT THE PLANE AND BY DOING SO IT WILL CONTINUE TO ALLOW SAN DIEGO AND THE SAN DIEGO REGION TO BE A LEADER IN THIS SPACE.
HOW BEST -- OKAY, IF THEY ADOPT A PLAN LIKE THIS IN THE 12 CUTDOWN THEIR USE OF FOSSIL FUELS AND NONRENEWABLE SOURCES OF ENERGY AND CARBON EMISSIONS THEY GO WITH THAT, HOW DO THEY GO ABOUT DOING THAT? DO THEY SAY THAT WE ARE DOING THIS THIS WAY NOW HOW CAN WE CHANGE IT TO USE CLEAN ENERGY? TO USE RENEWABLE SOURCES? IS THAT HOW IT WORKS?
IT IS. THERE ARE GOALS IN THERE FOR THE CITY TO BE 100% SUPPLIED 100% BY RENEWABLE ENERGY. AGAIN, HAVING MEDICAL LIMITING STEPS TO GET TO THAT GOAL. THOSE ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. SO HAVING A GOAL ON PAPER BUT ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTING IT IS ANOTHER. THAT COMES WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF FORMS, WITH A LOCAL GENERATION OF LOCAL ASSETS OR PERHAPS BRINGING RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM THE IMPERIAL COUNTY WHICH IS THE SUNRISE TRANSMISSION LINK COVERINGS AND 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM IMPERIAL COUNTY INTO OUR REGION. SO THERE IS NUMBER OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO DO THAT. BUT AGAIN THE REPORT IS AMBITIOUS AND IT IS MY HOPE THAT THE CITY ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT THAT PLAN. ADOPTS AT FIRST BUT THEN ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT THE.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. THE RANKING FROM THE NEXT 10 REPORT COMES OUT AS CLIMATE WEEK BEGINS IN PARIS. IN ADVANCE OF THE UN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT HOW DO YOU SEE THE INDEX BEING USED? BY THE CLIMATE CONFERENCE?
YEAH, WE HOPE THIS REPORT WILL BE USED BY DECISION-MAKERS AS A WAY TO BENCHMARK WHERE COUNTRIES ARE LEAVING POPPING ABLE TO SHOW COUNTRIES AND REGIONS AROUND THE WORLD THAT HAVE PROGRAMS THAT CAN BE MODELED TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN OTHERS AS IN CALIFORNIA, WE HAVE A LOT OF AMBITIOUS POLICIES AND PROGRAMS HERE THAT ARE BEING IMPLEMENT TO DWELL INCLUDING OUR CAP AND TRADE PROGRAM, A RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLATIONS AND WE CAN SERVE AS AN EXAMPLE BROTHERS. IT ALSO SHOW WHERE WE NEED MORE IMPROVEMENT FOR EXAMPLE, IN CALIFORNIA WE RANKED NUMBER 37 OUT OF 50 COUNTRIES IN ENERGY AND ELECTRICITY USE PER CAPITA. SO THERE IS CERTAINLY ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT IN THOSE AREAS. MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: SO THAT MEANS EVEN THOUGH WE ARE DOING OUR BEST TO MAKE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT SMALLER WE ARE USING A HECK OF A LOT OF ENERGY.
EXACTLY. IN OUR CURRENT ECONOMY WE HAVE A LOT OF ENERGY INTENSIVE UNITS AND WHILE WE ARE BEING SMARTER COMPARED TO THE PAST ON HOW WE USE THAT ENERGY AND BEING MORE EFFICIENT THERE IS A LOT OF ROOM TO GROW STILL.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: GOVERNOR. BROWN RECENTLY STEPPED UP THE RATE THAT THE STATE NEEDS TO MEET ITS CARBON EMISSION GOALS TO 40% BELOW 1990 LEVELS. BY THE YEAR 2030. DO YOU THINK WE CAN DO THAT AT THE RATE WE'RE GOING?
I HAVE NO DOUBT WE CAN DO THAT.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. WHY DID I KNOW YOU WOULD SAY THAT?
I THINK THE INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP IN THIS STATE, I THINK DIFFERENT INTEREST FROM DIFFERENT TYPES OF PARTIES, I THINK WE WILL -- MY HOPE IS THAT WE WILL NOT ONLY MEET IT WE WILL EXCEEDED. I THINK WE ARE ON THE PATH TO DO THAT. WE JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POLICIES REMAIN IN PLACE TO ALLOW THE STATE TO DO THAT. AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL HELP US MEET THOSE AMBITIOUS GOALS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS THAT.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: GIVE ME AN IDEA OF WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO STEP UP THE PACE.
I THINK IT IS ADOPTION. I THINK THAT'S WHEN THEY SAY, WE ARE PRODUCING BUT WE'RE NOT NECESSARILY REDUCING OUR CONSUMPTION. THERE IS A MANTRA IN THE INTEREST RATE, REDUCE BEFORE YOU PRODUCE AND IT IS MORE ABOUT PEOPLE BEING MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT AND BE MORE AWARE OF HOW THEY'RE USING ENERGY AND WHEN THE ARE USING ENERGY. AND SO I THINK AS PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT IF THEY CAN REDUCE THEIR OVERALL ENERGY USAGE, THAT PRODUCES HOW MUCH WE NEED TO PRODUCE AND IT IS JUST KIND OF A DOMINO EFFECT FROM THERE.

Reporter: -- MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. DO SEE THAT AS BEING UP TO INDIVIDUALS OR IS THAT MORE OF A PRODUCTION AND WHERE WE ACTUALLY GET PRODUCTS THAT USE ENERGY MORE EFFICIENTLY RATHER THAN HAVING TO REMEMBER TO TURN THEM OFF ALL OF THE TIME?
I THINK THIS BOOK. I THINK WHAT IS REALLY INTERESTING IS A LOT OF THE TECHNOLOGIES, A LOT OF THE PRODUCTS BEING DEVELOPED RIGHT NOW ARE SMARTER THAN WE ARE AND THEY WILL TURN OFF WHEN THE NEED TO TURN OFF, THEY WILL TURN OFF WHEN ENERGY IS MORE EXPENSIVE AND SO IT TAKES IT OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE CONSUMER AND PUTS IT MORE INTO THE HANDS OF THE ACTUAL TECHNOLOGY. I THINK AS MORE AND MORE OF THOSE TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE ADOPTED WE WILL HOPEFULLY SEE ENERGY CONSUMPTION GO DOWN. AND I THINK AS ENERGY COSTS, I'M SURE THEY WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE, PEOPLE WILL HAVE MORE OF AN INCENTIVE TO REDUCE THEIR OVERALL ENERGY USAGE.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. WHAT ABOUT SOLAR? THAT IS THE BIG ENERGY PEOPLE TO HERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AS BEING A TRANSFORMATIVE INTEREST RATE FOR THIS REGION. TWO CHANGES FROM EMITTING A LOT OF CARBON EMISSIONS TO BECOMING THIS PLACE WHERE RENEWABLE ENERGY REALLY DOESN'T PROVIDE 100% OF OUR NEEDS.
SOLAR WILL CONTINUE TO OBVIOUSLY BE A HUGE COMPONENT OF THAT. IN FACT, SAN DIEGO RIGHT NOW IS RANKED THE NUMBER TWO CITY IN THE NATION FOR SOLAR INSTALLATIONS. I HOPE THAT CONTINUES TO RISE. THERE ARE SOME ISSUES ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW THAT WILL NOT NECESSARILY DETERMINED DATE OF THE SOLAR INDUSTRY -- INDUSTRY BUT WE WILL DEFINITELY PLAY INTO FUTURE SOLAR ADOPTION. THERE IS A LOT OF CONVERSATION GOING ON RIGHT NOW BOTH LOCALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO AT THE PUC AND IN SACRAMENTO. I DO THINK SOLAR WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY A LARGE PART IN OUR GENERATIONAL LOCALLY.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THOSE QUESTIONS THAT ARE SO CRUCIAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR ?
I THINK IT WILL BE WHAT HAPPENS WITH RECONSTRUCTION AND RATE REFORM. I THINK METERING AND SOME -- HOW THAT IS GOING TO ROLLOUT IN ITS NEXT PHASE WILL OBVIOUSLY PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I KNOW GREEN TECH INNOVATION IS ALSO OPENING UP LOTS OF NEW INDUSTRIES AND JOBS IN SAN DIEGO. THIS ISN'T JUST A QUESTION OF CONSERVING FOR CONSERVING SAKE, IT IS REALLY A GENERATOR FOR OUR ECONOMY. ISN'T IT?
IT IS. THAT IS WHAT IS ANOTHER REALLY GREAT THING ABOUT THIS REPORT, THERE IS A LOT OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN HERE IN SAN DIEGO THAT THOUGHT THAT AS WE INCREASE OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY USAGE IT WAS GOING TO BE A DETRIMENT TO OUR ECONOMY. THE REPORT THAT RENÉ IS TALKING ABOUT AND NEXT 10 PUT OUT PROVES OTHERWISE. AS WE SEE THE INDUSTRY CONTINUE TO GROW IT WILL BE A JOB CREATOR HERE IN SAN DIEGO AND DEFINITELY HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT NOT ONLY IN THE ECONOMY BUT HERE LOCALLY IN SENEGAL.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. WIN A, I THINK IT'S INTERESTING YOU ARE BRINGING THIS REPORT TO THIS INTERNATIONAL MEETING IN PARIS BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN SAID BY MANY PEOPLE THAT CALIFORNIA CAN SOLVE THE CARBON EMISSIONS PROBLEM ON ITS OWN. AND ACTUALLY SOME PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT AS A WAY TO SLOW CALIFORNIA DOWN AND SAY WHY ARE YOU TAKING THIS BIG LEAD, YOU CAN DO THIS ALL ON YOUR OWN. BUT HOW, IT CALIFORNIA IS RANKING SO WELL, HOW IS THAT ACTUALLY SERVING AS A MODEL TO OTHER STATES AND EVEN TO OTHER NATIONS IN THEIR EFFORTS TO, THE CARBON EMISSIONS?
CALIFORNIA HAS DONE A LOT TO HAVE DIRECT AGREEMENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS WITH OTHER NATIONS AS WELL. IN IN THE REPORT WE MENTION A NUMBER OF OTHER SUBNATIONAL AGREEMENTS THAT CALIFORNIA HAS WITH OTHER STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL AS OTHER NATIONS AS A WHOLE, WITH CHINA, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE IS HUGE ROOM FOR INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY AND CLEAN ENERGY IMPROVEMENT IN THE NATION. AND WE HAVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH THEM TO HELP SHARE WHAT WE ARE LEARNING THEIR SO THAT THEY CAN LEARN FROM OUR LESSONS. AS WELL AS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, PARTNERING WITH OTHER STATES. ON TRYING TO SHARE WHAT WE KNOW. AND INCLUDING OUR TRADE PROGRAM WITH QUÉBEC AND CANADA AND ALSO THE NEW IDEA TO HAVE IT WITH IN ADDITIONAL PROVINCE OR.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH:. JASON, YOU GET INQUIRIES FROM OTHER AREAS OF THE COUNTRY?
ALL OF THE TIME. NOT ONLY ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE IN SAN DIEGO BUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CALIFORNIA. I WILL SAY WE DON'T GET JUST INQUIRIES FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY BUT OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. ACTUALLY I'M HOSTING A DELEGATION FROM DUBAI THIS WEEK. THEY ARE INTERESTED IN TALKING TO CLEAN TECH SAN DIEGO NOT ONLY ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION AND WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON BUT ALSO WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE LOCALLY AND THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. WHICH IS REALLY EXCITING FOR US, IT NOT ONLY GIVES, AGAIN, CLEAN TECH SAN DIEGO IN THE SAN DIEGO REGION AND PLATFORM ON NATIONAL OR GLOBAL LEVEL TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE BUT ALSO GIVES SOME OF THE COMPANIES DOING BUSINESS HERE IN SAN DIEGO POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES TO THIS -- TO BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO BOTH OF YOU. THANKS A LOT.
THANK YOU.
GREAT, THANK YOU.