The Golden State shines in a new global listing from the UK’s Guardian newspaper
Of all the companies around the world that the UK’s Guardian called out for its second annual Global Cleantech 100, roughly a third are based in California. The list spans technologies including energy generation, storage and efficiency; water and waste water; transportation and others.
The special report includes an interactive map of where the firms are located. It makes an interesting study by itself, showing a dense cluster of 31 firms over California, with a smattering of others around the US. About a dozen are concentrated in a few northeastern states. Four are located in China, two in India.
The California contingent is diverse, with firms such as Oakland-based BrightSource Energy, a builder of large-scale solar power plants — but also companies working on LED lighting, desalination, plastics recycling, algae-based biofuels and other technologies. Also making the list is Potter Drilling, a little start-up with fewer than 20 employees, that has created a buzz in energy circles. Google is among the funders backing Potter, which is developing a specific new technology that uses water to drill for geothermal energy.
Politicians, including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, often like to point out that California soaks up an enormous share of the total venture capital flowing to “clean technology.” The Guardian list provides a useful glimpse of where and how some of that cash is being deployed.