July 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Deputy Economic Development Director/Assistant to the City Manager
As any proper economic development team would, we have spent significant time the last few years marketing Fremont’s strong “clean technology” cluster … until recently. That is, we started getting corrected by experts in this industry for generalizing what is actually a vast array of technologies into the single term, “clean tech.”
Apparently, the term is passé. And it may be for good reason. After all, this umbrella term may lead one person to think of energy technologies while another person may envision sustainable kitchen soap. All this gave us pause and prompted us to more thoroughly investigate the technologies in Fremont that play a role in the energy efficiency and smart grid spaces. What are they, and how did they come to Fremont in such numbers?
Enter Christine Hertzog, author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, who has just completed research that explains why it’s no accident that Fremont has so many solar and LED companies, for example. Perhaps more importantly, it articulates how these technologies and other supporting industries play into a broader smart grid value chain. Her findings revealed that Fremont has significant company representation across every segment of this value chain: generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. Notable technologies include communications, semiconductor, solar, LED, energy storage and electric vehicles. She also makes the interesting point that Fremont’s leading role in the smart grid only stands to support another vital part of our economy – advanced manufacturing, with its strong need for reliable power.
So, armed with this valuable information, what do we do with it? Well, as any proper economic development team would, we support and incentivize it! Our strategy ranges from growing our Innovation District in Warm Springs, to a clean tech business tax exemption and streamlining the permit process. We want to show companies in these targeted growth sectors that we understand their business model and are making an investment in their future success.
Since you have found your way to our new blog, you might also like to check out the Clean Tech page on our new website, to learn more about how we are helping to grow the companies that will change the world.
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Welcome to our blog – Takes from Silicon Valley East! Our view is slightly different here on the east side of the bay – from the Mission Peak backdrop to the advanced manufacturing companies that dot our boulevards. As we become more urban and strive to interpret the business issues affecting our innovation economy, we want to share with you our observations, insights, photos, arguments, agreements, inspirations and CEO interviews – and here on our blog is exactly where we plan to do this.