Southern California Leads In Green Businesses, Says Report

A new report released today by Next 10, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy group, says that Southern California--and California, as a whole--leads the green innovation, cleantech venture capital, and energy market. According to the report, both Los Angeles and the Bay Are were identified as green manufacturing job leaders, with nearly 10,000 jobs in the sector in each region. The report was compiled by research firm Colaborative Economics. The Next 10 report found that California accounted for 24 percent of total global investment in clean technology, with a total of $11.6 billion invested in cleantech venture capital in the state since 2006.

In an assessment of the "green economy" jobs in California, the Next 10 report said that the Bay Area had 9,607 green jobs in 2008, compared with 9,370 green jobs in Los Angeles. However, the report split employment across Southern California across the Inland Empire (3,630 jobs), Los Angeles, Orange County (3,895 jobs), and San Diego (2,389) separately, and if accounting for all of those areas together, Southern California actually had more jobs in total--19,284--than the Bay Area in clean technology.

Other findings in the report included a ranking of patent registrations in green technology, where California held the lead with more than 458 patents between 2007 and 2009, 150 more than second ranking New York, which ahd 307 patents registered. Next 10 also argued that--despite popular talk about a poor business climate in the state--it found that more businesses are starting up in California than are leaving or closing, even among energy intensive businesses. The report said that it found 177,000 new businesses established in California between 1995 and 2008, and 118,00 closed, for a net increase of 58,500 businesses in the region.