Portland cleantech initiatives morph
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Two Portland cleantech initiatives that went quiet are still around. Here's the update.
Two economic development initiatives tied to clean technology went quiet in 2011. They're both still alive and kicking, but they've evovled somewhat.
Here's the update.
Portland's relationship with Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room is still alive and kicking, reports Michael Armstrong, senior sustainability manager with the City of Portland 's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
In April 2010, the Carbon War Room selected Portland among 16 cities worldwide under its Green Capital Global Challenge.
The challenge was to connect city-run energy efficiency programs, such as the Portland-based Clean Energy Works, with sources for capital.
However, since Clean Energy Works is backed by a generous $20 million federal grant awarded under the stimulus plan, finding a source of capital to fund efficiency improvements hasn't really been an issue.
Armstrong said Clean Energy Works and the Carbon War Room folks are still talking, but for the most part their efforts have been focused on helping cities without efficiency programs get them off the ground.
Once the federal money that is backing Clean Energy Works is gone, the Green Capital Global Challenge may come back into play.
Meanwhile, the city's Climate Prosperity Greenprint, first unveiled in July 2010 and then finalized early in 2011, is also still around.
The work of the Portland Metro Climate Prosperity Work Group, the Greenprint aimed to pull together an economic development strategy focused on climate protection.
The final version was released last January.
In addition to existing on a Portland Sustainability Institute webpage that outlines its goals — from commercialization of green technologies to the nurturing of green talent — the document is now being used to inform and support the cleantech economic development efforts for organizations including Greater Portland Inc.
"Cleantech continues to be a focus area and an important part of business attraction and business retention," said Sean Robbins, CEO of Greater Portland Inc. "That stems in part from the effort that the Greenprint took to frame it in the first place."
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