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Archive for the ‘ CleanTECH San Diego ’ Category

San Diego Council President Todd Gloria discusses Climate Action Plan

Gloria, ToddThis morning CleanTECH San Diego’s board meeting included a presentation by Todd Gloria, Council President of the City of San Diego, and most recently the City’s Interim Mayor.  Councilmember Gloria reviewed several items of interest to CleanTECH San Diego membership including the proposed City of San Diego Climate Action Plan.  The current working draft of the Plan was published in February 2014 near the end of Gloria’s six month stint as Interim Mayor.  He said that his goal is to have a plan which is specific and which challenges the community with aggressive goals.  He estimated the process to approve the Plan would most likely extend into the first quarter of 2015.  Click here for a copy of the Draft Plan and the Appendices

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White House Recognizes CleanTECH San Diego’s Downtown Pilot Project

CleanTECH_San_Diego_LOGO[1]White House Office of Science and Technology Policy highlights San Diego’s leadership in clean technology and big data solutions. This distinction is in recognition of the region’s success in accelerating research, development, and collaborations in data-enabled science and engineering.

This event: “Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships,” was hosted in Washington, D.C. under the Obama Administration’s Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD) program. This program represents the information technology portfolios of all 18 Federal agencies.

CleanTECH San Diego’s Sustainable San Diego pilot project was prominently featured as one of five programs characterized as “Supporting the Earth, Energy Use, and the Environment.” The pilot’s goal is to change the way people think and support a city – not as a collection of independent buildings, streets, or utilities – but rather as an integrated system, much in the same way a university campus operates.

CleanTECH San Diego received White House recognition as a “launch partner for building the data innovation ecosystems.” Other projects acknowledged in the same category were led by Google Earth, Amazon, and federal agencies including NASA, Department of Energy, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Sustainable San Diego pilot project deploys a cloud-based data infrastructure, provided by OSIsoft (http://www.osisoft.com/), which connects physical city systems – such as those managing electricity, gas, water, waste, buildings, transportation, and traffic – allowing the City of San Diego to drive large-scale applications to lower electricity consumption and costs. Under this new system, the city will also be able to discover and anticipate grid instabilities, educate the public, and improve the region’s quality of life and economic development.

“CleanTECH San Diego is excited to be part of this cutting-edge smart city initiative that advances national priorities while also asserting the San Diego region as a clean energy leader,” said CleanTECH San Diego Chair Jim Waring. “We look forward to sharing results from the Sustainable San Diego downtown pilot project so the model of energy efficiency on a big data platform can be scaled and replicated in cities around the globe.”

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CleanTECH San Diego Awarded Grant to Support Region’s Biofuels Industry

Anderson, Jason HEADSHOT 9-12-12The statement which follows was released today by Jason Anderson, Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego.

We are excited to announce that CleanTECH San Diego, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation have been awarded a Regional Industry Clusters of Opportunity II (RICO II) grant from the California Workforce Investment Board.  This $250,000 grant is funded by Assembly Bill 118, Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, through the California Energy Commission and will help facilitate the continued development of our region’s biofuels industry.

As you know, the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions continue to be leaders in the advanced research and development of biofuels.  With the successful conclusion of the EDGE initiative, a state funded, industry-led program to train and educate workers in the biofuels industry, San Diego and Imperial Valley face additional obstacles in developing our biofuels industry.  As companies like Cellana, Sapphire Energy and Synthetic Genomics continue to refine their products here regionally, they’re turning elsewhere to commercialize their suite of biofuels products.  Although the research and development (more…)

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CleanTECH San Diego’s RSS News Feed is a resource for cleantech research

Since October of 2008 CleanTECH San Diego’s website has hosted a RSS Feed which archives news about cleantech companies and events in San Diego.  This month the 5641st item was posted to the list.  The accelerating flow of stories underscores San Diego’s global reputation as a cleantech cluster. 

In addition to the convenience provided by the CleanTECH San Diego’s RSS Feed, the list is of value to anyone who wishes to research the cleantech experience in San Diego.  A quick click-by-click over the past few weeks generates a vivid picture of the breadth and diversity of regional cleantech activity.   

Using Google’s “site search” feature the article archive can be searched in a manner which is more effective than a general Google search.  For example, a Google search of “CleanTECH San Diego” and “solar” yields over 82,600 results.  A search limited to only the CleanTECH San Diego RSS Feed generates 513 unique stories.  This focused approach narrows the results to only those stories which are about innovative solar in San Diego.  The format for the search is: 

site:news.cleantechsandiego.org   solar

(If your Google search only yields one page of results, drop down to the bottom of the page and click at “… repeat the search with the omitted results included“.)

The story selection process for the RSS Feed seeks to identify all news reports which are both cleantech and San Diego with an emphasis on innovation.  To add utility, the curated list is screened to minimize story duplication and the inclusion of items of small consequence.  The result is a fingers-on-pulse tracking which is both timely and thorough. 

Click here to access the CleanTECH San Diego news archive and to subscribe to the RSS Feed.

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Smart City San Diego and Mayor Jerry Sanders Unveil Completed Solar-to-EV Project at Balboa Park

This Tuesday Smart City San Diego and City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders unveiled the completed Smart City San Diego Solar-to-EV Project – a 90-kilowatt solar photovoltaic canopy that directly charges electric vehicles (EVs) in the San Diego Zoo parking lot.  Smart City San Diego is a collaboration that combines the resources of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), City of San Diego, GE, UC San Diego and CleanTECH San Diego to drive projects forward that improve the region’s energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assert San Diego as a clean energy leader.

“The Solar-to-EV project is a cornerstone in the City of San Diego’s ongoing efforts to usher in sustainable solutions for Balboa Park in anticipation of the Park’s 2015 Centennial Celebration,” said Mayor Jerry Sanders, City of San Diego. “This project will serve as a new energy infrastructure blueprint that can be replicated throughout the San Diego region and beyond.”

One of the first of its kind in the country, the Solar-to-EV Project harnesses energy from the sun to directly charge plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), store solar power for future use and provide renewable energy to the electrical grid. The project incorporates 10 solar canopies producing 90 kilowatts (kW) of electricity – enough energy at peak capacity to power 59 homes – as well as five EV charging stations, with one station located in a nearby ADA-accessible parking space.  Using new battery technology, a 100-kW energy storage system is charged by the solar canopies and used to offset power demands on the grid to charge the vehicles.  When the battery is full, the excess solar energy that is generated is put onto the electric grid to improve reliability and benefit the surrounding community.  The solar canopies also provide shade to approximately 50 cars in the Zoo’s southeast parking area

“California has established the most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals in the nation. With almost 40 percent of our state’s GHG emissions coming from transportation, clean vehicle alternatives will be critical to achieving these goals,” said Jim Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E.  “Under Mayor Sander’s leadership, the City of San Diego has consistently been ahead of the curve in determining how best to demonstrate new technology and provide necessary infrastructure to promote clean energy adoption.”

The clean energy produced by the Solar-to-EV project is equivalent to removing 189,216 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, or the same as planting 2,788 trees annually. For additional comparison, the greenhouse gas emissions savings from the electricity produced is equivalent to removing 21 cars from the road each year.  Furthermore, PEVs when driven on electricity offer zero tailpipe emissions and no emissions overall when the electricity is directly from solar power.

The project not only aims to encourage EV drivers to visit the Zoo and Balboa Park, but also provides displays onsite and online to educate visitors about the role that the system plays in driving sustainability forward. The system and its educational tools are part of the Zoo’s goals to encourage the application of sustainable design driven by science and the natural world.

“As part of our ongoing effort to be a conservation leader, San Diego Zoo is thrilled to host the Solar-to-EV project and help set the stage for the future,” said John Dunlap, director of the San Diego Zoo.  “By providing a sustainable energy mechanism at one of San Diego’s most well-known destinations, the Zoo is not only providing this vehicle charging option to our guests, but also raising awareness for new technologies for the millions of people we host from all over the world.”

The Solar-to-EV project is owned and managed by SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program, which promotes local solar installations and green building design and construction throughout the region. The charging stations are part of The EV Project and are owned by the program’s administrator.

About Smart City San Diego

Smart City San Diego is a collaboration combining the resources of the City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric, GE, UC San Diego and CleanTECH San Diego. Together, these leading organizations from government, business, education and non-profit are maximizing synergies to drive existing energy programs forward, identify new opportunities, embrace additional collaborators and move the San Diego region beyond today’s boundaries of sustainability. Visit the Smart City San Diego website at www.SmartCitySD.org.

 

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Clean Tech Survival Strategies: Unlocking the secrets to local, state and federal incentives, loan guarantees, cash grants and more

CONNECT, in partnership with K&L Gates, has assembled a top level panel of industry and advocacy experts to shed the spotlight on how clean tech companies can navigate today’s changed world of government financing structures including: local, state and federal incentives, loan guarantees, tax credits and cash grants and current trends in strategic partnering and investment.

Arnold Klann of BlueFire Renewables will share his secrets to landing government funding and how to build a successful company that can survive changing government policies and administrations. Juancho Eekhout of SDG&E will outline the opportunities for clean tech companies presented by California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard which is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33% of total procurement by 2020. Nick Leibham and Dirk Michels, Partners with K&L Gates, LLP will shed light on the current environment in D.C. post ARRA and where the funding opportunities lie across various government departments and agencies.

Following the presentation, Holly Smithson, President & COO CleanTECH San Diego will moderate a lively question and answer session between the audience and panelists.

Moderator
Holly Smithson, President & COO, CleanTECH San Diego

Presenters/Panel
Juancho Eekhout, San Diego Gas & Electric
Arnold Klann, CEO/President, BlueFire Renewables
Nick Leibham, Partner, K&L Gates, LLP
Dirk Michels, Partner, K&L Gates, LLP

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Executives, CEOs, CFOs, industry members, in-house counsel, and senior management in the clean technology, venture capital and convergence sectors.

LOCATION
Sanford Consortium
2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037

September 25, 2012    9:00am – 11:00am
(Registration begins at 8:30am)
Note: Breakfast will be provided for participants.

Click to REGISTER

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CleanTECH San Diego takes position on California Proposition 39

By Guest Author Jason Anderson, Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego

On November 6, voters will consider Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, which will close a tax loophole that gives an unfair advantage to out-of-state corporations that employ few Californians.  After a vote of our Advocacy Committee and our Executive Committee, CleanTECH San Diego has joined a coalition of businesses, education, labor and taxpayers to support Prop. 39.
 
How was this loophole created?  At the end of the 2009 state budget negotiations, in a last-minute, middle-of-the-night deal, a tax loophole was crafted that allows out-of-state companies to manipulate the tax system and get a tax advantage from keeping jobs out of California.  Eliminating this loophole – by instead basing corporate tax liability on sales in the state or the ‘single sales factor’ – will make California-based businesses more competitive, restore balance and fairness to the tax system, create new jobs and recover $1 billion a year in lost revenues. Closing the loophole will bring California’s tax policy in line with the policies of many other states, including New York, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Michigan.
 
The new state revenue will provide increased funding to vital state programs–such as education, health and social services, public safety and transportation.  In addition, for the first five years, Prop. 39 dedicates a portion of the new revenues to energy efficiency programs, which will create jobs and reduce the state’s long-term energy costs.
 
California is known worldwide for its innovation, its creativity and its world-class economy.  But this unfair tax policy puts California-based businesses at a disadvantage.  To learn more about Prop. 39 or to submit your endorsement, please visit http://www.cleanenergyjobsact.com.
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Success of local EDGE Initiative noted at Summer of Algae Tour

By Guest Author Jason Anderson, Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego

Earlier this week, I participated in the kick-off of the Algae Biomass Organization’s Summer of Algae Tour at UC San Diego. This event was co-hosted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego and the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB).  The Summer of Algae Tour aims to educate policy makers about the algae biomass industry and its vast potential to continue creating jobs, domestic fuels, feedstock and other vital products.  The kick-off featured CleanTECH San Diego members Synthetic Genomics, General Atomics, Cellana and Sapphire Energy. Their pioneering work, along with the applied research within our local universities and institutions, serves as a stunning reminder of the global leadership provided by our region’s biofuels industry.  As Dr. Greg Mitchell of Scripps Institution of Oceanography explained to the audience, we are truly a “cluster of excellence.”  More information on ABO’s Summer of Algae Tour can be found here

My remarks at the event highlighted the EDGE Initiative and its successful conclusion.  As you know, more than two years ago CleanTECH San Diego and a number of key partner organizations, received a $4 million grant from the State of California to create curricula and workforce training programs designed to support our region’s biofuels and industrial biotech industry.  I am pleased to report that our work is complete.  Through a close collaboration, we have designed programs that not only support the biofuels and industrial biotech industry today, but will continue to evolve to meet industry needs as it matures.  To date, we have trained more than 300 workers and over one-third of those trained are now employed in the industry.  Just as the region’s research institutions and private sector companies continue to gain momentum and investment for their advances, EDGE’s cutting edge curricula and training programs are being considered for adoption by institutions all over the world.

The success of this program is due to a large number of people and organizations.  I would especially like to think Victoria Bradshaw, former Secretary, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, for her leadership and support, Steve Mayfield and his team at SD-CAB and UC San Diego for their hard work and dedication in creating EDGE’s curricula and training programs, and Kristie Grover and the BIOCOM Institute for their work on behalf of the students.  I would also like to thank the Industry Advisory Council, made up of private sector companies (including those mentioned above), which were a critical component to this initiative, as they helped shape the final product.

The EDGE Initiative proves once again that San Diego’s spirit of collaboration is real and it works.  By forming partnerships with public and private stakeholders, we can continue to address the needs of our rapidly growing cleantech sector.  

Click EDGE Program Overview for an overview of the EDGE Initiative, and its impressive results.  I hope you take the time to read it.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.

Jason Anderson is Vice President of CleanTECH San Diego.  He can be reached at: jasona@cleantechsandiego.org

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How California Can Benefit from the Historic New Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards

In 2011, President Obama announced a historic agreement with thirteen major automakers to increase fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.  This agreement was the result of more than five years of collaborative work between the auto industry, Congress, presidents representing both political parties, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and environmental leaders, and represents the first meaningful update to fuel efficiency standards in three decades.

Achieving the goals of this historic agreement – which is set to be finalized in August – will rely on innovative technologies and manufacturing, and California’s forward-thinking policies and innovative companies give our state a competitive advantage as the auto industry moves to meet these strong new standards.

On Tuesday August 28th, CleanTECH San Diego and the Pew Charitable Trusts will host a discussion on the critical role played by California in the development of the new federal standards, and how California’s business and policy leaders can help to ensure that California leads the way as the auto industry sets its sights on 54.5 MPG.

Speakers include:

  • Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • Mike Lewis, Principal, Pearson Fuels
  • Dave Grundstrom, Chairman & CEO, Marvin K. Brown Auto Center, Inc.
  • Major General Anthony Jackson- Commander, Marine Corps Installations West (invited)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (invited)

DATE:
Tuesday August 28, 2012  4:00 – 6:30pm 

LOCATION:
Energy Innovation Center
4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117

AGENDA:
4:00 – 4:30pm
Registration & Networking
4:30 – 6:30pm
Program

This event is free.  Click here to register.

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The military bootprint in San Diego: A report and an event

Where do you want to be in the event the U.S. is invaded by a foreign army?  San Diego!  We have numerical superiority with over 55,000 Marines and almost as many Navy uniformed personnel.  Over 25% of the entire U.S. Marines Corps is based San Diego County. 

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure” is an old management adage which is part of the impetus behind the recent San Diego Military Economic Impact Study.  Commissioned by the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and executed by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at PLNU, the 47 page report gives detail to the defense-related activities and spending which will generate $32 billion of gross regional product in San Diego County in fiscal 2012. 

Click here to order the complete study and here for the executive review.

The substantial local economic presence of the military provides ongoing business opportunities including the cleantech sector.  In an effort to increase awareness about the Department of the Navy’s surge toward “Energy Independence,” CleanTECH San Diego and the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) are co-hosting an inaugural event on July 26th at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. This event will feature keynote remarks from Rear Admiral Dixon Smith, Commander, Navy Region Southwest and the Honorable Mayor Jerry Sanders, delivered to more than 300 stakeholders.

In 2010, US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced his commitment that 40 percent of the Department of the Navy’s total energy consumption will come from alternative sources by 2020. San Diego’s cleantech cluster – comprising more than 800 companies from startups to large multinational enterprises – will play an integral role in satisfying this mandate.

“The Department of the Navy has a long history of leading energy transformations, from sail to coal to oil to nuclear power,” said SDMAC President Rear Admiral Jim Johnson, USN (Ret.). “This event will showcase the Navy’s long term vision for energy security and how they will transform energy vulnerabilities into mission advantages.”

The defense industry and the San Diego region have enjoyed a long tradition and strong history around research, innovation and economic development. According to a recent SDMAC economic impact study, the military accounts for 25 percent of all San Diego jobs and the region boasts the largest concentration of military forces in the world with 67 percent of the nation’s military training airspace located in the Southwest. The military is a powerful force for the local economy, generating more than $32 billion in gross regional product annually.

“This is a unique opportunity to accelerate San Diego’s clean energy leadership through partnerships between the Department of the Navy and the companies based here,” said Jim Waring, President & CEO, CleanTECH San Diego. “This timely event will convene key defense and cleantech industry stakeholders to examine how our region can promptly aid the Navy in reaching its ambitious renewable energy goals.”

Several case studies will be showcased with companies that are delivering clean energy solutions to the US Armed Forces. CleanTECH San Diego members, SDMAC members and other industry stakeholders are invited to attend and learn what clean technologies are enabling the Department of the Navy in realizing its energy production and consumption objectives.

Click here to register.

Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier
1000 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

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Brookings Institute releases Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech On a Path To Subsidy Independence.

Last Wednesday the Brookings Institute released Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech On a Path To Subsidy Independence. The 65 page report exams the current state of the highly politicized clean energy technology sector.  Their premise is, “In the absence of significant and timely energy policy reform, the recent boom in US clean tech sectors could falter.” 

Part 1 of the report analyzes the past and future of Federal clean tech funding followed by a section which breaks out the market impacts (solar, wind, nuclear, biofuels, EVs and storage).  In Part 3 the authors present their recommended focus on “policy reform to both sustain market opportunities for advanced energy technologies and implement smart new policies that more effectively shepherd public resources and support innovative entrepreneurs and firms.”  They clearly state the wisdom of supporting innovation over massaging the market.  “Simple deployment subsidies or policies to create demand, for example, still allow foreign competitors to undercut domestic manufacturers and seize larger and larger market shares, as Chinese solar PV companies have proven in the last three years.  Only steady innovation can keep US firms at the leading edge of clean tech sectors, and a supportive policy regime will be essential.”

Although San Diego is not mentioned by name, on page 11 the report gives a strong shout out for innovation clusters.  “Likewise, the nation needs to develop more potent, catalytic ways to leverage and enhance regional clean tech industry clusters. Such industry clustering has been shown to accelerate growth by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation.  Policy makers should increase investment in competitive grants to support smart regional cluster initiatives, designed not in Washington but on the ground close to the “bottom up” innovation that has broken out in numerous states and metropolitan areas.”

Long considered an innovation cluster Mecca, San Diego’s response is the San Diego iHub, which will build upon the region’s existing innovation infrastructure and strong culture of collaboration to create four convergence clusters: mobile health, biofuels, biomimicry, solar energy and energy storage.  Click here for the regional cleantech cluster database tracked by CleanTECH San Diego.

On April 25th one of the authors of the report, Mark Muro, will participate in a live web chat with moderator Vivyan Tran of POLITICO.  Click here to join in.

My only fault with the report is their narrow use of clean tech to mean clean energy technology.  In most common usage clean tech is more broadly defined to also include several non-energy technologies.  For example a non-energy technology which reduces the emission of Green House Gases (GHG) is clean tech for most of us as is the lengthy tech menu associated with clean air and water, recycling and a whole host of sustainable processes.

Click here to access Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech On a Path To Subsidy Independence.

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San Diego Solar Energy Symposium – March 6th

A recent report identified San Diego as having the most rooftop solar installations in the state. To ensure this continued success, CleanTECH San Diego and the Solar Electric Power Association are offering a half-day Solar Energy Symposium on March 6 at the University of San Diego to discuss the future of solar energy in the region. Experts will share information about the expansion of solar energy in San Diego, discuss its benefits, address misconceptions and identify ways to build a foundation for long-term solar growth.

This event will feature keynote speaker, Michael Picker, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Renewable Energy Facilities. Introductory and transitional addresses will be made by Jim Waring, President & CEO of CleanTECH San Diego, Bob Gibson, Vice President – Market Intelligence of SEPA and Morten Lund, Partner – Energy Development at Stoel Rives.

PANEL 1: Solar Energy – Today’s Trends and Challenges with moderator Scott Anders Director, University of San Diego Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) featuring panelists Cecilia Aguillon (Kyocera Solar), John Bumgarner (REC Solar), Thomas Noelle (Xtreme Power Solutions) and Byron Washom (UC San Diego).

PANEL 2: Solar in San Diego by 2020 – A Vision for Growth with moderator Andrew McAllister (California Center for Sustainable Energy) featuring panelists Tom Brill (SDG&E), Clark Crawford (Soitec) and Ted Ko (Clean Coalition).

Tuesday March 6, 2012 at 1:00 – 4:30 PM

University of San Diego
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
Reception to follow from 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Register at: www.sdsolarenergysymposium2012.eventbrite.com

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Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Plan San Diego’s Future

With a projected 40 percent population growth in the next 40 years, San Diego will need 400,000 more homes and 500,000 new jobs by 2050.  Now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence how people will live, work, learn and play in the future throughout the San Diego region.  Visit ShowYourLoveSD.org, share your values and priorities and be a part of a major, region-wide effort to plan for our future.  This is our chance to share our personal voices on what we want our region to become.  If many of us speak up, government officials will listen!

ShowYourLoveSD.org is the result of nearly two years of research and community input organized under Our Greater San Diego Vision, an initiative facilitated by The San Diego Foundation and supported by close to 300 ambassadors and task force members, more than 170 diverse community partners, and an unprecedented 10 media sponsors.

“It’s in everyone’s interests to take a few minutes and go online to help shape the region for decades to come,” said Bill Geppert, chair of Our Greater San Diego Vision.  “People in San Diego County are concerned about the region’s future, especially its high cost of living and how that impacts their quality of life.  This is an opportunity to put the future in your own hands.”

During community workshops in the fall and task force meetings over the summer, ideas were generated and then combined with the initiative’s public opinion research and other data points to come up with scenarios presented at ShowYourLoveSD.org.

Once the public participation window closes on January 31st, the results will be developed into a guiding vision for the region to be unveiled in the late spring of 2012 and continually refreshed and updated.

To help shape a vision for the future of the region in which we all live, work and play, visit ShowYourLoveSD.org . 

The future is at stake.  Time is of the essence.  January 31st is the last day to have your say.

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Smart City San Diego Collaborates to Deliver Results

With a focus on the San Diego region’s job growth, smarter technology development, solar energy storage integration and increased electric vehicle infrastructure and deployment, Smart City San Diego is delivering results. The collaborative is made up of City of San Diego, GE, UC San Diego, CleanTECH San Diego and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  It formed to leverage each entity’s strengths to create and implement initiatives to improve the region’s energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and assert San Diego as a clean energy leader.

“Over the past year, Smart City San Diego has been forward-thinking about creating opportunities for a more sustainable region,” said San Diego Mayor Sanders. “Moving into 2012, our collaborative will continue to build on those results and develop and launch even more initiatives to drive economic growth for our region.”

These results include:

Car2Go: The City of San Diego and SDG&E worked with Daimler’s Car2Go to make San Diego’s launch of its plug-in electric vehicle car sharing pilot a big success. The City continues to work with SDG&E to increase the number of public-access charging stations throughout the Car2Go targeted region. The team is working collectively to educate the community about the benefits of the pilot program and expects to increase public interest in electric vehicles and encourage the growth of the plug-in electric vehicle industry in San Diego. Data gained from Car2Go will provide information on where charging stations are most needed. Smart City San Diego also continues to work to streamline the permitting process for deploying charging stations.

Smart Appliances: SDG&E and GE are working together to test the communication links between GE’s smart appliances and SDG&E’s smart meters to ensure consumers are empowered with the best technologies to manage energy use and costs. GE’s Appliances business is supplying SDG&E with a smart dishwasher, washer and dryer along with a GE Nucleus energy manager and Programmable Control Thermostat to expedite the testing process. SDG&E’s team is currently testing the communication between these assets prior to consumer deployment.

Economic Development and Job Growth: CleanTECH San Diego – working with the City of San Diego, SDG&E, UC San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and its private sector member companies – is quantifying and categorizing regional clean tech companies that touch smart grid technology development. Categories include solar energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, clean transportation and other technology companies. CleanTECH San Diego has also created a baseline analysis of the direct and indirect economic impacts of the named clusters. This baseline analysis can help quantify year-over-year job growth and other economic impacts of the regional smart grid sector. This will be particularly helpful in measuring the economic impact of the over 180 solar companies and over 20 storage companies that call San Diego home.

Solar Integrated Energy Storage: UC San Diego and SDG&E have submitted a grant application to test, demonstrate and evaluate a variety of solar integrated energy storage projects over a 12 to 24 month period. If funded, this initiative will test multiple applications at multiple sites and provide analysis for the benefit of utilities, grid planners, regulators, solar inverter manufacturers, system integrators, business modelers, energy storage manufacturers and other early adopters. CleanTECH San Diego supports this initiative as part of efforts to advance the region as an Innovation Hub (IHub).  In August 2010, the California Governor’s Office of Economic Development designated the greater San Diego region as an IHub for solar energy storage.  The purpose of the IHub is to build on the region’s existing innovation infrastructure and strong culture of collaboration to accelerate the convergence of solar energy and energy storage.

Policy Leadership: In July 2010, Smart City San Diego hosted California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron for a day long briefing on San Diego’s smart grid initiatives.  The Commissioner met with industry representatives from the solar, energy efficiency, smart grid and technology sectors and toured UC San Diego’s world renowned microgrid.  The collaborative held a roundtable with the Commissioner to brief him on the vision and work of Smart City San Diego.

Solar Decathlon 2013 Finalist: The City of San Diego and UC San Diego worked with the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Committee to make San Diego one of two finalists for the location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon. The event promotes the outreach, education, and economic benefits of energy security, renewable energy and energy efficiency.  If early projections bear out, attendance at the event has the potential to be larger than the San Diego Convention Center’s highest attended conference and create a positive economic impact for the region.

Economic Development and Job Growth: GE worked with CleanTech San Diego and SDG&E to host a GE Sourcing Supplier Diversity event for the first time in San Diego.  Over 50 diverse local suppliers participated in one-on-one sessions with GE buyers to learn how best to work with GE and be considered for future projects.

“GE is proud to bring our grid modernization technology and expertise to Smart City San Diego,” said Mark Hura, global smart grid commercial Leader for GE’s Digital Energy business.  ”An efficient, reliable and sustainable electric infrastructure is essential to powering economic growth and supporting business, industry and the dynamic lifestyles of a skilled workforce.  We applaud all the successes over the past year and look forward to many more to come.”

Formed in January 2011, Smart City San Diego was charged with bringing together leading organizations from government, business, education and non-profit to maximize synergies to drive sustainability programs forward, identify new opportunities, embrace additional collaborators, and move the San Diego region beyond today’s boundaries of sustainability.  This model will be able to be duplicated in other regions.

The collaborative leverages its strengths and resources as a partnership to develop and implement local initiatives that will empower consumers, improve environmental quality, drive economic growth, and reduce the San Diego region’s reliance on oil.  The collaborative is working toward a more consumer-focused, environmentally conscious energy future by addressing San Diegan’s 21st century energy needs.

Click here for the Smart City San Diego website

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VIDEO: The UC San Diego microgrid; a living laboratory

A microgrid is a localized grouping of electricity generation, energy storage, and loads that normally operate connected to a traditional centralized grid.  The microgrid at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is one of the best examples of an electricity network that provides local control yet is interconnected with the larger electricity grid.

Recently the Rocky Mountain Institute visited UCSD to study and document the microgrid that controls and integrates electricity supply and demand on the campus.  One result of their visit was a six minute video that spotlights the groundbreaking work being done on the La Jolla campus

At UCSD, the microgrid provides the ability to manage 42 megawatts of generating capacity, including a central cogeneration plant, an array of solar photovoltaic installations and a fuel cell that operates on natural gas reclaimed from a landfill site. The central microgrid control allows operators to manage the diverse portfolio of energy generation and storage resources on the campus to minimize costs. In addition, the campus can “island” from the larger grid to maintain power supply in an emergency, as in the case of the power blackout that struck parts of Southern California, Arizona and Mexico in September 2011.

The microgrid at UCSD provides a living laboratory to experiment with integration and management of local resources and to optimize the use of these resources in interaction with market signals from the larger grid.

Click here to watch the video.

Articles of Interest
Solar forecasting and microgrids
Understanding the Role of Buildings
UC San Diego is a campus-wide living laboratory for sustainable energy

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Three early-stage cleantech companies present at CleanTECH San Diego SCRUB

On Thursday I participated in the latest CleanTECH San Diego SCRUB session.  SCRUB is an opportunity for early stage cleantech companies to present their business plans to a panel of CleanTECH San Diego members.  Three local emerging cleantech ventures made their case to twenty-one CleanTECH San Diego members representing a mix of venture capitalists, engineers, marketing specialists, intellectual property attorneys as well as local leaders from industry, research and government.  The objective of SCRUB is to provide feedback and assistance to take each company to the next stage. 

This quarter’s SCRUB showcased three distinctly different cleantech businesses.  TransPower seeks to become a leading supplier of power generation, energy storage and power control technologies. Principal product areas include an advanced electric propulsion system for heavy-duty vehicles and a modular energy storage system for use with EV technology.  Interra Energy’s core process revolves around using waste biomass to create biochar through pyrolysis for use within sustainable agriculture practices, which can create waste biomass and thus a sustainable loop. NuLEDs aims to be a leader in LED lighting and control for commercial environments. Their primary product is a networked digital controller technology that can provide flexible dimming and tailoring of specific colors, correlated color temperatures (CCT) and color rendering index (CRI).

In the past nine quarterly SCRUB sessions CleanTECH San Diego has provided advice, introductions and critical evaluations to 32 future cleantech stars.  If you have a cleantech enterprise that would benefit from a good SCRUB you should forward your business summary to Jason Anderson at jasona@cleantechsandiego.org  

CleanTECH San Diego SCRUB Graduates 2008-2012
(Click on name to link to website)

TransPower

Interra Energy

NuLEDs, Inc.

MultiSpark LLC.

TourEngine Inc.

Lightwave Photonics LLC.

Home Town Farms

Butler Sun Solutions

350 Green

WaterSmart Software   

Shrink Nanotechnologies  

Eco ReBox   

Vari-Ro

Marine Power Partners 

OnRamp Wireless

New Leaf Biofuel 

TransPacificEnergy, Inc. 

Balboa Pacific 

EcoDog

Malama Composites

Pyron Solar

Kai BioEnergy

Community Fuels

ISE Corporation

Chlorofill

Sustainable Green Technologies

California Wind Systems

ECOR (Noble Environmental Technologies)  

Strategic Enzyme Applications  

SleepServer

This quarter’s SCRUB was hosted by CleanTECH San Diego member, Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP

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GUEST AUTHOR: Can Tides Turn the Tide?

Tom Murphy is an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.  His blog, Do the Math, takes an astrophysicist’s-eye view of societal issues relating to energy production, climate change, and economic growth.

Now is the time on Do the Math when we scan the energy landscape for viable alternatives to fossil fuels. In this post, we’ll look at tidal power, which is virtually inexhaustible on relevant timescales, is less intermittent than solar/wind (although still variable), and uses old-hat technology to make electricity. For this exercise, we mainly care about the scale at which the alternatives can contribute, leaving practical and economic considerations sitting in the cold for a bit (spoiler alert: most are hard and expensive). Last week, we looked at solar and wind, finding that solar can satisfy our current demand without batting an eyelash, and that wind can be a serious contributor, although apparently incapable of carrying the load on its own. Thus we put solar in the “abundant” box and wind in the “useful” box. There’s an empty box labeled “waste of time.” Any guesses where I’m going to put tidal power? Don’t get upset yet.

Continue Reading >

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Soitec Dedicates its San Diego North American Solar Headquarters and Manufacturing Plant

Soitec, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, dedicated its new North American solar headquarters and manufacturing plant in San Diego at a ceremony held on Friday, December 16.  Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr, provided remarks at the event.  Also participating in the factory dedication were San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Jessie J. Knight, chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), California Public Utilities Commissioner (CPUC), Timothy Simon and Jim Waring, CEO of CleanTECH San Diego.  They were joined by governmental officials and over 300 community and business leaders that attended the dedication event.  The factory is located in San Diego to supply more than 300 megawatts (MW) in solar projects to provide electricity to SDG&E.  All Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have been approved by the CPUC.  The new factory will enable a manufacturing capacity of 200 MW of Soitec’s fifth generation of Concentrix concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules, with the opportunity for future expansion to double the capacity to 400 MW per year.

Soitec’s highly efficient, durable CPV systems have enabled the company to plan for more than 300 MW in utility-scale solar power plant projects throughout the Southwest U.S., including 155 MW in PPAs with San Diego Gas & Electric, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last month. Additionally, a power purchase agreement for up to 150 MW for the Imperial Solar Energy Center West project, another project that currently proposes to use Soitec’s CPV technology, was approved by the CPUC on December 15.  Tenaska Solar Ventures, LLC, an affiliate of independent energy company Tenaska, is developing that project.  

Click here for a brochure of the Concentrix concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) module.

“SDG&E has signed more contracts using CPV technology than any other utility in the world – a distinction we’re proud of,” said Jessie J. Knight, Jr., chairman and CEO of SDG&E.  ”At the time we began our talks with Soitec, we realized we had a unique opportunity to negotiate not only a good contract for solar energy at prices that competed head-to-head with other technologies, but also to solidify an agreement that would bear fruit for years to come in new local jobs and overall economic benefits.  From a reliability and grid stability perspective, this technology is far superior to other typical ground-mounted arrays.”

Soitec employs a distributed manufacturing model which locates CPV module factories close to its customers to provide the most efficient and environmentally beneficial green power.  The distribution model also calls for a large percentage of local content and local job generation.

“Soitec’s new facility will create hundreds of well-paying jobs and build on San Diego’s growing reputation as one of the world’s leading clean-technology clusters,” commented San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.  ”We are so honored and proud to welcome Soitec to the San Diego community, and I know that San Diego’s collaborative business community will continue to work with Soitec to ensure the company’s success and prosperity.”

Governor Brown noted, “I’m glad to be here for the dedication of Soitec’s manufacturing plant. The expansion of clean energy businesses is a direct result of legislation mandating that one-third of California’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.  That’s a goal and we’re going to meet it. In fact, we are going to do better.”

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The Department of Interior approves Iberdrola Renewables’ Tule Wind Power Project in San Diego

The U.S. Department of the Interior issued its final approval of the Tule Wind Power Project today when Secretary Ken Salazar signed the Record of Decision on the Environmental Impact Statement. This is the approval for the portion of the project on federal lands, making it the first approval of five California “priority” wind energy projects proposed for public lands.

“We applaud the effort by the Department of the Interior, which worked closely with the State of California to effectively execute the environmental review process for Tule Wind and other priority projects to bring jobs and revenue to these communities,” said Harley McDonald, business developer for Iberdrola Renewables.

In late 2009, Secretary Salazar and then-Governor Schwarzenegger signed an agreement directing Interior and California State agencies to create a federal-state initiative to advance development of environmentally appropriate renewable energy on U.S. lands in California.

The Tule Wind Power Project, an up to 200 MW wind energy facility, is proposed for the McCain Valley in Eastern San Diego County. The federal lands portion of the project approved by the Department of Interior today will generate up to 186 MW.

The federal agency’s approval of Tule Wind is the first of several needed to bring this important source of clean energy to San Diego. The project is located within four jurisdictions and will need additional approvals from the California Public Utilities Commission, Bureau of Indian Affairs, California State Lands Commission and County of San Diego.

“The County of San Diego will be holding hearings on our Major Use Permit application in the first quarter of 2012,” said McDonald. “The Planning Commission, then likely the Board of Supervisors, will be voting on whether this project will be allowed to proceed.

“It is important that all our permits are secured in the next few months, so the project can have a chance to be built and deliver energy before the end of 2012 when the current tax credits expire,” said McDonald.

Tule Wind is a Low-Impact, Clean Energy Source

The Tule Wind Power Project, as proposed, will produce enough clean energy for approximately 60,000 San Diego-area homes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 230,000 tons and reduce water use by 149 million gallons per year by displacing gas-fired generation.

“More than five years of environmental studies have found that Tule Wind will have very low impact to cultural, wildlife and natural resources,” said McDonald.

In its Record of Decision, the Department of the Interior selected an alternative that reduced the number of turbines on public lands from 128 turbines to 62 turbines — in order to avoid biological, cultural and hydrological resources. Iberdrola Renewables has worked in close collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and species-specific biological experts to identify the risk to sensitive and endangered species near the project area and develop a comprehensive Avian & Bat Protection Plan for the project.

“We’ve been working closely with the Fish & Wildlife Service on science-based solutions to avoid impact to all avian species — in particular, golden eagles,” said Stu S. Webster, director of Permitting & Environmental for Iberdrola Renewables.

“All the federal agencies involved in this effort recognize the need to minimize the project’s environmental impacts, and realize the broader benefits of wind energy, creating jobs and meeting renewable energy goals,” said Webster.

Iberdrola Renewables conducted several years of avian point counts, conducted telemetry studies on golden eagles and nesting surveys in compliance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Game — and only two golden eagle observations were made during two years of avian use surveys at the project site, explained Webster.

“The studies indicated low use of the site by golden eagles, telling us that collision with a Tule Wind turbine is unlikely,” said Webster. “However to err on the side of caution and prove that our science-based deductions are accurate, we have commissioned to continue another year of studies on the northern ridge through the Wildlife Research Institute, which has been studying eagle activity in San Diego County for 23 years. It is expected that these additional studies will confirm little-to-no use by the eagles of the valley portion of the project area and further characterize eagle use near the northern ridge and confirm that there is very low risk to these eagles.”

WRI has already conducted two years of golden eagle nesting and territory analyses and one year of raptor migration studies on the project site.

Tule Wind Benefits San Diego County

In addition to providing substantial environmental benefits, Tule Wind will add to the region’s economy by providing:

– $3.5 million per year in property tax revenue to the County of San Diego

– Support of approximately 915 jobs in the San Diego economy during construction — including ancillary supply chain and manufacturing jobs

– 10-12 new permanent jobs onsite during operations, with an additional 28 jobs supported each year in supply chain and manufacturing

– $30 million in Sales & Use Tax during construction

– $1 million in annual payments to landowners and tribes

– $1 million over 30 years in campground improvements and maintenance in McCain Valley

Tule Wind enjoys broad-based support from San Diego residents and businesses that want to protect the environment, improve air quality, and spur economic development for the region.

“CleanTECH San Diego is keenly interested in not only the region’s air quality, but also economic opportunities that create jobs for our region,” said Jim Waring, president and CEO, CleanTECH San Diego. “As a leader in the clean energy economy, we support the development of renewable energy projects that further diversify our energy resources. To this end, we encourage the County Board of Supervisors to approve Tule Wind as proposed, to fuel the region’s economy and meet clean air mandates.”

“We’re thrilled to see the Tule Wind Power Project moving in the right direction, bringing jobs, sustainability and economic prosperity to San Diego County,” said Scott Alevy, president and CEO of the East County Chamber of Commerce. “It is important that we clear the green tape to advance these projects that provide such great benefit to not only the environment, but also the local economies they will serve.”

The Tule Wind Power Project Environmental Impact Statement/Report was performed in accordance with guidelines set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act, and was studied jointly with the proposed San Diego Gas & Electric East County Substation and Sempra Energy’s Energia Sierra Juarez’ Gen-Tie Line.

Click here for more information about the Tule Wind Power Project.

And click here for Morgan Lee’s article in the San Diego Union Tribune, “Large wind farm earns federal approval”.

 

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California and San Diego are Leading the Shift to Electric Vehicles from R&D to Early Adoption

As California is poised to adopt a new round of car standards designed to cut emissions and expand the market for electric vehicles (EV), a new report provides insight into California’s emerging leadership role in this fast-growing economic sector.  New data reveals that California took in $467 million in global EV venture capital (VC) investment (69 percent of total dollars) in the first half of 2011 and, along with Michigan, is the top patent holder for new EV technology in the United States.  Powering Innovation: California is Leading the Shift to Electric Vehicles from R&D to Early Adoption, from the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization Next 10, tracks key indicators to assess opportunities and obstacles for California in the EV sector.

Click here for the 32 page report and here for the Key Findings.

San Diego’s contribution to the growth of EV was featured in the report.  (Page 22) “The San Diego Region more than tripled its EV workforce between 2004 and 2010.  The largest contributions to growth have been Motor Vehicle Components, composing 52 percent of the region’s EV employment in 2010, and Advanced Batteries with 42 percent of regional EV employment.”  (Page 22) “The San Diego Region boasts the highest employment concentrations in both Advanced Battery and Motor Vehicle Components.”  (Page 24) “In Research and Development, San Diego represents 60 percent of EV related employment statewide, equal to roughly 150 jobs of the more than 280 EV jobs in the region.”

Of particular value in the report are the observations on Page 26 which summarize the realities of EV, “Why Electric Vehicles?  Benefits and challenges to powering innovation.”

You can drill down to the company level of the transportation technology sector in the San Diego region via the cleantech cluster database on CleanTECH San Diego’s website.  Click here.

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Future of algae as a biofuel on trial in San Diego

Algae LabYesterday was a good news day for the rapidly growing algae biofuel industry in San Diego.  Local TV station KPBS produced a comprehensive video segment, 2012 Could Determine Future Of Algae As Fuel.  Click here for the video.  

La Jolla-based Sapphire Energy announced a breakthrough via a white paper, “An exogenous chloroplast genome for complex sequence manipulation in algae.”  

“With this breakthrough, Sapphire Energy has shown that it is possible to make algae–the world’s most efficient photosynthetic organism–even more efficient,” said Jason Pyle, Sapphire Energy founder and CEO.  “This work represents the first steps toward a novel approach for creating genetic diversity in any or all regions of a chloroplast genome, and may have applications in other plants.”  

Click here for the full report.   

Grants for up to $7,000 are available for biofuels training for 55 students.  Classes will be held at UCSD Extension and Mira Costa College starting in March 2012.  Details here.

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Job training grants to give workers “EDGE” in biofuels industry

If algae is to be the solution for America’s pain at the gas pump, trained workers are needed to make that a reality.  Applications are now available for continuing education grants at the University of California San Diego to retrain workers as general science technicians in the rapidly expanding biofuels industry in the San Diego and Imperial County region.

Approximately 55 students will begin classes in March of 2012, with each student receiving the equivalent of a $7,000 grant from the State of California. Prospective students from across California interested in applying for next year’s EDGE program and biofuels and industrial biotechnology companies interested in hiring interns from the program should contact Karen Overklift at the BIOCOM Institute (858) 455-0300, extension 104 or koverklift@biocom.org or go to http://tinyurl.com/4d9m93g

Algae, the substance known to many as “pond scum,” may one day be the fuel that powers U.S. automobiles.

“That’s what petroleum is – it’s ancient algae,” said Dr. Stephen Mayfield, a professor of biology at UC San Diego and director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB). “Algae already makes oil that looks like crude oil. The oil we extract from algae goes directly into a refinery and gets converted into diesel or gasoline.”

The students, who will attend classes at UC San Diego Extension and Mira Costa College, are the second cohort of students in a program funded by a two-year, $4-million grant from California’s Department of Labor under the Green Innovation Challenge.

“Nationwide there is a need for skilled workers to participate in the development and commercialization of new technologies, as we can see in the field of alternative energies,” said Hugo Villar, director of science and technology at UC San Diego Extension. “The university has been a leader in helping adult learners acquire new knowledge and skills that allow them to transition out of stagnant areas of the job market and participate into more vibrant areas as we are doing now with biofuels.”

“This program is not only training workers for new jobs in the local economy, it will eventually help our nation become less dependent on foreign oil,” said Mayfield, “The bioenergy sector will eventually be creating millions of jobs nationwide. Our biggest challenge will be to keep those jobs in California.”

The grant involves the work of a number of local partners, which include UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Mira Costa College EDGE program, SD-CAB, CleanTECH San Diego, BIOCOM Institute, BIOCOM, San Diego Workforce Partnership and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

“With this training, these students are prepared to support the region’s growing biofuels companies and help San Diego continue to be a leader in the biofuels sector,” said Jason Anderson, vice president of CleanTECH San Diego, a non-profit organization that is helping to accelerate San Diego as a world leader in the clean technology economy.

San Diego is widely recognized as one of the world’s leaders in biofuels research and development. A recent analysis, conducted by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), found that for the algal biofuels sector alone, the industry provides the region with 410 direct jobs and $56 million in direct economic activity and $108 million in total economic activity annually.

“It’s critical that we build the research and development infrastructure for the biofuels industry here,” said Mayfield. “Right now, we have a head start on the rest of the world and we can’t afford to lose that.”

Thanks to the $4-million EDGE grant, San Diego has also become a national leader in training biofuels technicians. Mayfield said feedback from the program’s graduates, faculty and local biofuels companies will lead to a redesign of the curriculum for the next class of science biofuels technicians, which will run from March through August of 2012. Once the program is perfected, an online, web-based curriculum will be made available to any California university or college, and through enrollment in UC San Diego Extension to anyone around the world who wants to gain basic science training to enter the biofuels industry.

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More wireless EV charging news from Qualcomm

On Thursday Qualcomm Incorporated announced the first Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) trial for London in what is a UK and industry-leading initiative.  Qualcomm is collaborating with the UK Government, as well as the Mayor of London’s office and Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the trial.  Earlier in the week Qualcomm announced it had acquired substantially all of the technology and other assets of HaloIPT, a leading provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles.  See my post of November 8th.

The pre-commercial trial is expected to start in early 2012 and will involve as many as 50 electric vehicles (EVs).  The trial will use Qualcomm wireless inductive power transfer technology that enables high-efficiency power transfer across a large air gap.  It is very easy to use: the driver simply parks the vehicle in the usual way and the system automatically aligns for power transfer, making parking easier and charging hassle free.

The trial, which will be based partially in Tech City, the East London cluster receiving the strong support of the Prime Minister, is planned to leverage the Tech City entrepreneurial community and encourage companies to innovate around services and applications, in order to enhance the smart EV experience.

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “This wireless charging technology is a giant leap forward for the electric car industry and I am delighted that London businesses will be among the first to benefit from the trial.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “In my quest to deliver cleaner air for the capital, I want London to be the electric car epicenter of Europe. Encouraging a massive uptake in electric driving is key to this vision of becoming a zero-emission city.”

“Qualcomm is very pleased to be participating in the London WEVC pre-commercial trial, which builds on the existing trials of electric vehicles sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles in the UK,” said Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president of European Innovation Development at Qualcomm. “Wireless charging eradicates the EV plug-in cable and makes charging of electric vehicles simple and easy for drivers.”

Addison Lee, the UK’s largest minicab company, and Chargemaster plc, the leading European operator of advanced EV charging infrastructure, have also agreed to participate in the WEVC London trial.

Qualcomm is not the only high tech giant with a wireless plug-in connection.  In March Google announced a trial of a Plugless Power charging station for vehicles at its Mountain View, CA headquarters.

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Qualcomm acquires wireless electric vehicle charging technology

Qualcomm Incorporated today announced that it has acquired substantially all of the technology and other assets of HaloIPT, a leading provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles.  All members of the HaloIPT team have joined Qualcomm’s European Innovation Development group based in the UK. 

“Qualcomm has been investing in wireless power for a number of years and the HaloIPT acquisition will further strengthen our technology and patent portfolio,” said Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president of European Innovation Development for Qualcomm. “Building on 20 years of development and innovation in wireless power at The University of Auckland and its commercialization company Auckland UniServices Ltd, the HaloIPT team, in a relatively short period of the time, had established itself as a leading developer in wireless electric road vehicle charging — with HaloIPT winning industry acclamation and awards.”

“We are immensely proud of what has been achieved by our team at HaloIPT over the past 18 months,” said John Miles, Executive Chairman of HaloIPT and a Director at Arup.  ”In that short space of time, we have brought world-class university research to the attention of the global automotive industry and, through really innovative design, demonstrated the potential for wireless charging in front of several of the world’s leading OEMs.  That has been a terrific achievement.”

In addition to the HaloIPT transaction, Qualcomm and Auckland UniServices, the commercialization company of the University of Auckland, have committed to a long-term research and development arrangement to promote continued innovation in the field of wireless charging for electric road vehicles by way of inductive power transfer.

“UniServices is proud to see the development of technology for the wireless charging of electric vehicles become an important area for Qualcomm,” said Peter Lee, chief executive officer, UniServices.  ”We believe Qualcomm is well positioned to make available this technology to third parties for the wireless charging of electric road vehicles, and the relationship will provide opportunities for continued research and development of this technology.”

Bruce Bigelow’s article in XconomyQualcomm Buys HaloIPT (and Patents) for Wireless Charging Technology

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Test drive the Nissan Leaf at SnowJam 2011

What do electric vehicles have to do with winter sports?  Beats me.  But while all of the Shaun White want-to-be’s are checking out snowboards at SnowJam 2011 you can take a run in the new all-electric Nissan Leaf

The ‘drive electric tour’ will provide the opportunity to learn all about the Nissan LEAF.  You will be guided through several display areas, have the opportunity to talk with LEAF experts, and explore the many innovations from Nissan including:

· The Nissan LEAF battery system and charging details
· The “sexy science” of the Nissan LEAF and how it compares to other vehicles
· Staying in-touch with your LEAF through your phone or computer
· Fuel efficiency and costs
· Environmental impact
· Meet Nissan LEAF’s helpful accessories
· 100 miles is more than enough!

But the best part of the ‘drive electric tour’ is that you can drive the car for yourself!  You will be able to drive the (more…)

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