Solar project in Sacramento region by Recurrent Energy (Photo: Recurrent Energy)
The Sacramento region is setting records and coming out on top and it’s all thanks to the area’s cleantech industry. It’s the first time revenues and employment soared, a remarkable feat considering the overall economy has been slower to recover than other major metropolitan areas.
According to the CleanStart Progress Report, recently released by the Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA), revenues in cleantech for the Sacramento region grew in 2012 to over $2.1 million, while employment jumped to 31 percent, totaling more than 3,200 jobs. Right now, there are 99 cleantech companies in the area.
Those stats mark an all-time high for the area’s cleantech sector. In 2011, revenue was $1.5 million and employment was 2,200.
“Several of the Sacramento region’s cleantech companies are not only succeeding locally but are also having national and international success in sales, increased headcount, the introduction of innovative new products and game-changing partnerships that are sure to catapult these local firms further in 2013,” said Gary Simon, SARTA CleanStart chair.
The good news continues. Clean Edge reports Sacramento ranked #1 in clean economy job creation and #4 overall among other major U.S. cities.
SARTA has been working since 2005, through its CleanStart initiative, to support start-up cleantech companies and to build a regional cleantech cluster. The organization has an aggressive long-term goal: bring 10,000 new clean-tech jobs and $5 billion in additional revenue to the region.
“SARTA’s mission is to develop the Sacramento region into a nationally recognized center of technology and technological innovation. This ranking not only puts us on the map but validates that our area is a force to be recognized. We are very serious about cleantech, and plan to keep growing and innovating,” said Meg Arnold, SARTA CEO.
The latest unemployment rate in Sacramento is 9.8 percent, just slightly more than California’s unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.
Collaborating on a strategic plan to help the region thrive is a recipe for success, not only for Sacramento but for the Golden State too.
In his State of the State address, California Governor Jerry Brown talked about California’s ambitious energy goals. He said the state is on track to reach and potentially exceed its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of 33 percent by 2020.
This is all a part of the Governor’s plan to grow a more robust, sustainable cleantech economy, attract new private investment, add thousands of new jobs, improve reliability of the electric grid, and reduce air pollution.
Map of cleantech companies in Sacramento region. Created by CleanStart.