Sacramento sees a quiet cleantech boom
Sunoptics, which ships its solar skylight system globally, is one successful area clean-tech firm.
Revenue and employment from Sacramento area cleantech manufacturing and design companies both got big boosts in 2012, setting new records for the region’s cleantech sector, according to a report released today by the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance.
Local cleantech companies generated more than $2.1 billion in revenue, up 28 percent from $1.5 billion in 2011 — and up from $650 million in 2008, the first year for which revenue figures were collected.
The nine-county region also added about 1,000 cleantech jobs, according to the seventh annual SARTA CleanStart Progress Report. Regional employment in the sector grew by 31 percent to more than 3,200 jobs last year, up from 2,200 jobs in 2011.
At least some of those 1,000 jobs already existed but were added to this year’s report because companies that chose not to release the data last year decided to disclose the numbers this year, Simon said. But he said the net gain mostly represents new jobs.
“We are getting a clearer picture now as people are more forthcoming,” CleanStart chairman Gary Simon said.
While the report revealed the region had a net gain of just two companies for a total of 98 in the cleantech sector, the majority of gains in jobs and revenues were spread out over about 15 companies that have been in the Sacramento region for more than five years, Simon said. CleanStart is an initiative of the tech-focused nonprofit SARTA.
The biggest gains were made in energy efficiency and solar companies.
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