Clean Technology for Austin
Austin can attract 21st century companies developing technologies for renewable energy, energy storage, and advanced green building. Austin Energy's Generation Plan and Task Force recommendations will play a critical role in attracting those businesses.
Forward thinking from public officials in the 80s and 90s brought silicon manufacturers and other hi-tech firms to the city. As a result, Austin is now an international leader in silicon wafer manufacturing and hi-tech development. As the hi-tech industry slows down, most firms, including many in Austin such as Freescale, IBM and Dell are looking to clean technology as their most promising business model in the future. This strategic shift is validated by a recent analysis from Deloitte, which shows that clean technology venture investments totaled more than $5.6 billion in 2009. "Overall venture capital has retreated back to 2003 levels, according to the U.S. NVCA, cleantech venture capital has been reset only to 2007 levels." By adopting the generation plan and recommendations, Austin City Council will encourage strong future economic development while maintaining the city's role as a national leader in cutting edge technology.
- According to the Prometheus Institute, solar power was once again the leading investment segment with $1.4 billion in 84 deals.
- From 1995 to 2008 "green job" growth in California was 36%, compared to the state's overall job growth of 13%. Some cities with more aggressive policies, such as the San Francisco area saw 51% jump in green jobs to 41,674 jobs in 2008. Even recently, as employment in the state declined by 1% from 2007 to 2008 green jobs increased 5% according to a recent study by Next 10, a Palo Alto non-profit.
In 2009, as the U.S. economy stalled, manufacturing for solar panels and other clean technology expanded more rapidly than any other manufacturing sector. The Central Texas area just received $4.8 million in federal assistance to train 1,000 local workers for jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. The generation plan and Task Force recommendations will bring a wide variety of jobs to the city, from innovative technology companies to manufacturing, installation, retrofit, and construction jobs. We need a plan that benefits all Austinites, and with this plan's strong energy efficiency component the city will be assured that job growth will not only be seen in the hi-tech sector.
Recent Manufacturing Growth in Green Technology Nationwide
- Schott Solar: Albuquerque, NM - 350 employees
- Sanyo Electric: Salem, OR - 200 employees
- Solarworld AG: Hillsboro, OR - 1,000 employees
- Helioshpera: Philadelphia, PA - 400 employees
- Globe Specialty Metals: Niagara Falls, NY - 138 employees
- Hemlock Semiconductor: Clarksville, TN - 500 employees
- First Solar expansion: Perrysburg, OH - 135 new employees
- MX Group: Millville, NJ - 282 employees
- Hoku Materials: Pocatello, ID - 200 employees
- Suniva: Saginaw Count, MI - 500 employees
- Oerlikon Solar, Clairvoyant Energy, Xtreme Power: Wixom, MI - 300 employees (plans to add 700)
* This represents only a small sample of solar and other green technology manufacturing jobs added in the last year.
U.S. PV Manufacturing Facility Map, 2012
Map courtesy of greentechsolar
That's why these leaders in business and enterprise have endorsed the plan:
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