Silicon Valley Industry and Government Leaders Announce New Report on Economic Impact of Smart Grid Silicon Valley Leadership Group, City of San Jose and PG&E Quantify Business and Job Benefits of Smart Grid Deployment
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, City of San Jose and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), co-chairs of the Silicon Valley Smart Grid Task Force launched in 2010, announced today the findings of a new economic analysis of smart grid innovation and deployment, conducted by Collaborative Economics.
The Bay Area has a high concentration of talent, companies and research centers focused on the development of smart grid technology and services that promise to empower energy consumers with information, choices and control, while improving the reliability and environmental footprint of the electrical system.
"A central tenet of San Jose's Green Vision is that clean technologies are the economic drivers of the future," said Mayor Chuck Reed. "This report shows that the future is now and that the smart grid has already begun creating jobs in Silicon Valley."
The study by Collaborative Economics reports that from 1995 to 2009, the number of smart grid-related firms grew 138 percent and the number of jobs grew 129 percent in Silicon Valley. Even during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, the smart grid sector continued to show strong local growth. Recent employment trends through August 2011 indicate that Silicon Valley's economy is recovering at a faster rate than the state or nation, which suggests that continued growth related to the smart grid should be expected.
"For decades, Silicon Valley has been on the forefront of new technologies," said Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership roup. "Increasingly, those new technologies touch the smart grid, and Silicon Valley is reaping the economic benefit of these advances."
Many utilities across the country are now deploying technology that will develop smarter grids. PG&E will complete its upgrade of nearly 10 million gas and electric meters to SmartMeter™ technology in 2012, as part of the utility's effort to give customers more access to information and greater control over their energy use and bills.
"Investment in the smart grid by PG&E and other utilities nationwide is good for customers, good for Silicon Valley jobs, and good for the Bay Area economy," said Chris Johns, President of PG&E. "The smart grid is a part of PG&E's commitment to delivering safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers."
The lead author, Tracey Grose, Vice President of Collaborative Economics, explains, "The national roll-out of the smart grid will not just drive growth in the broader Bay Area directly related to smart grid technologies. The implementation of these systems will produce huge new volumes of data that must be processed, stored and analyzed. Therefore, smart grid will also drive demand for IT products and services, Silicon Valley's key sectors."
About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) is organized to involve principal officers and senior managers of member companies in a cooperative effort with local, regional, state, and federal government officials to address major public policy issues affecting the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley. For more information, go to http://svlg.org.
About the City of San Jose
From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S. (population 1,023,000), is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. San Jose's Green Vision is an ambitious and comprehensive 15-year roadmap to solve environmental problems and grow the local economy. Focused around three elements – Clean Tech Innovation, Sustainability, and Green Mobility – the Green Vision sets 10 bold goals through which San Jose will lead the nation in becoming more energy efficient, producing and using electricity from clean renewable sources, creating green buildings, diverting waste from landfills, creating greener street systems, delivering recycled water, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, visit, www.sanjoseca.gov.
About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about.
About Collaborative Economics
Collaborative Economics (CEI) works with senior executives from business, foundations, government, education and community sectors - helping them create breakthroughs in how people think and act regarding their region. The CEI team has developed new ways of observing economic change and identifying new areas of opportunity. Two examples completed on behalf of Next 10, include the annual California Green Innovation Index, which examines the intersection of the economy and the environment and the annual Many Shades of Green, tracking firm and employment growth in California's growing clean energy economy. On behalf of Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, CEI produces the annual Index of Silicon Valley, which tracks the region's progress along a series of socio-economic indicators. http://www.coecon.com/