Green is the new black in The City by the Bay. San Francisco boasts a 70 percent recycling rate, the highest in the U.S. The city recently completed a citywide conversion of municipal fleet to alternative fuel vehicles. The city has recently banned polluting disposable items such as Styrofoam and non-biodegradable grocery bags. San Francisco has pioneered pilot projects for tidal power and biodiesel production. New buildings are subject to aggressive green building requirements. There are nearly six megawatts of solar installed or under construction in San Francisco. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has mandated a goal of 75 percent waste diversion for all of San Francisco by the year 2010 and zero waste by 2020.
As a leading city in green technology adoption, San Francisco grants a payroll tax exemption for businesses that engage in clean energy technology. San Francisco has the largest municipal solar-incentive program in the U.S. The incentive provides $3,000 to $6,000 for residential solar installations, and as much as $10,000 for commercial properties. Municipal policies encourage adoption of solar, tidal power, wind and biodiesel production and usage if possible in city buildings, vehicles and properties; in turn, this policy framework drives demand for newer and better emerging green technology.
San Francisco sits at the geographic center of cleantech research and development at California's top academic institutions, sitting equidistant from UCSF, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and the Livermore National Labs. Money isn't the only thing green in San Francisco businesses. San Francisco is a global leader in attraction and retention of top clean energy companies, and is fast becoming home to a booming green technology hub. Its emerging cleantech economy boasts more than 181 companies including Suntech, Enovity, Ardica Technology (hydrogen fuel cells), Greenvolts (high concentration photo-volltaic) and Tellurian Biodiesel. Between San Francisco and nearby Silicon Valley, the Bay Area boasts the largest concentration of green technology investors in the U.S. with abundant business opportunities targeted along the West Coast and Asia.
There are 17 green finance companies in San Francisco including Pacific Growth Equities, Jane Capital Partners, Nth Power, Wells Fargo, MMA Renewable Ventures and New Resource Bank. Green building materials and design is a segment that enjoys eminence among San Francisco's architectural, construction and engineering firms. With a focus on the development of energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings, as well as on firms involved in the production of reduced-waste and high-performance building materials, this sector is likely to expand rapidly as the city works to meet its bold environmental and economic goals.
The Bay Area is home to FedEx's largest North American solar power installation, atop the FedEx Express global shipping at Oakland International Airport. The installation generates nearly one megawatt of clean electricity from sunlight to meet 80 percent of the large facility's peak energy needs and reducing emissions equivalent to removing more than 2,000 cars from Bay Area highways.Read more...