San Diego Is a Rising Star for Clean Energy, Technology Jobs

 
 
By Don E. Sears  |  Posted 2009-09-18
 
 
 

San Diego, despite what you might have learned from fictitious Anchorman Ron Burgundy, was not founded by the Germans in 1842. In fact, it has a storied history, with its neighbor to the south, Mexico, being a border town, a major U.S. port and a gateway to the United States. Yes, the U.S. Navy still has a large presence there, but it's not what makes news these days.

Reports and studies are putting this city in the limelight for jobs, specifically technology-related jobs. San Diego has been mostly ignored by the domination of celebrity news out of Hollywood and Los Angeles and to a lesser extent, the area south known as Orange County. With a bastion of good colleges and universities, San Diego's research centers are going far beyond the world-renowned Scripps oceanography institute.

San Diego is quickly becoming a technology epicenter for green jobs, bio-tech research and a host of technology and engineering jobs, says a recent article in U.S. News & World Report. San Diego now ranks as one of the top 10 places for technology jobs according to USN&WR, with one of the highest salary bases in the country. USN&WR writes:

"Between the University of California-San Diego, San Diego State University, and the University of San Diego, research plays a big role in the community, and researchers draw funding-which helps nurture further innovations, according to Connect, a regional nonprofit. Connect's chief operating officer, Camille Sobrian, says new data collected by the organization show significant increases in the number of start-ups and the amount of venture capital funding in the second quarter.

City officials boast that the metro area has one of the highest concentrations of high-tech companies in the nation. San Diego also ranks fourth for tech salary pay, according to Glassdoor data-above the more expensive cities of Washington, New York and Boston."

In news today, San Diego will be aiming to get a digital smart grid.
In a partnership between San Diego Gas & Electric, the University of California, San Diego and the non-profit company CleanTECH, San Diego agreed to form a 25 organization-deep coalition to transform its electrical grid in to a high performing digital smart grid with help from the federal government's economic stimulus money.

Under the Obama administration, the government has set aside $4.5 billion toward green energy initiatives, and this digital grid coalition is targeting $100 million from those funds. From a news release on the coalition:

"The coalition will, in part, create a community-scale utility system within the region that can interconnect greater percentages of renewable generation at both the distribution- and transmission-system levels, store electricity and use automated sensors and communication technologies to help manage these intermittent energy resources. The coalition also will focus on accommodating a growing number of electric vehicles and empower customers to exert greater control over their own energy usage with the most advanced technology. If successful, the prototype project could be recreated on a larger scale anywhere in the world."

"San Diego is an ideal location for smart grid development because the region has one of the greenest universities in the nation and plentiful sources of renewable energy," said Michael Niggli, COO of SDG&E, in the news release. "We also have civic and industry leaders who are capitalizing on these advantages to attract a critical mass of cutting-edge alternative energy enterprises."

 

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