LA driving state's clean transportation sector; San Diego pioneering microgrids according to new analysis of CA regional clean tech economies

Nov 20, 2014, 11:00 ET from Next 10

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California is a driver for California's world-class clean transportation sector and of new microgrid and biorenewable technology according to two new reports by the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10 (www.Next10.org).

"The Los Angeles area and the San Diego region have unique local assets that are being leveraged to drive innovation, investment, and growth in the clean economy—a pattern we are seeing repeated across the state," said businessman F. Noel Perry, founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10.

Driving the Spotlight: Los Angeles and Orange Counties' Large Producer and Consumer Base Driving Advanced Transportation Growth finds that not only do Los Angeles and Orange Counties represent the largest and fastest-growing electric vehicle market in the state, the region is also a hotbed for other advanced transportation technologies.

"The Los Angeles area is the nation's automotive design capital, with more than 20 design centers for companies including BMW, Honda, and Tesla," said Doug Henton, chairman and CEO of Collaborative Economics, which compiled the reports for Next 10. "There is a concentration of companies, organizations, research institutions and groups working on advanced transportation technologies, including electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, and renewable natural gas made from waste."

California is also a leader in terms of hybrid patents — new data shows there were 154 advanced transportation patents registered for the region in the 2012-2013 time period. That figure is more than double the number of patents recorded in the 2002-2003 period.

"Private and public stakeholders are collaborating with innovation centers in the region, such as universities and the LA Cleantech Incubator, to create a supportive network for entrepreneurs and start-ups to grow the advanced transportation sector," said Mike Swords, vice president of partnerships for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). Custom battery manufacturer Quallion is identified in the analysis as the most active regional company for clean tech transportation patent registrations in recent years, primarily in batteries. General Motors ranked a close second with hybrid and fuel cell patents.

Living Lab: San Diego and Imperial Counties Fostering Smart Grid and Biorenewable Development identifies those counties as leaders in the development of micro grid and biorenewables technologies.

"The University of California, San Diego is working with the area's technology companies, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the U.S. military to advance grid innovation," said Byron Washom, UC San Diego's director of strategic energy initiatives. "The campus generates 92 percent of its own energy and our cutting-edge microgrid is attracting companies from all over the world who want to use it as an energy technology testing ground."

The region also leads the state in advanced biorenewable fuels, chemicals, and products derived from renewable feedstocks such as plants, algae, and waste.

"Biorenewable companies in the region have attracted over $800 million in early-stage investment over the past decade," said Jason Anderson, the president of the nonprofit member organization Cleantech San Diego. "These businesses draw on our regional strengths in life sciences and biotechnology research, with academic institutions like UC San Diego serving as innovation hubs."

Home to a wide array of biorenewable companies like Sapphire Energy, Genometica, Verdezyne, Oberon Fuels, Earthrise Nutritionals, and Synthetic Genomics, other companies like Canergy and California Ethanol and Power are now actively working to establish projects and facilities in the region.

Contact: Cater Communications, 415.453.0430

SOURCE Next 10



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