San Francisco Nabs ‘Cleantech Capital’ Title

Along with being a popular destination for tourists, the city of San Francisco is also a magnet for the cleantech industry—the most powerful one on the continent, according to Cleantech Group.  The company, which does industry research, analysis and events around the world, just named San Francisco the Cleantech Capital of North America.

Cleantech Group’s announcement didn’t come with a formal index, scorecard or ranking. But it did state some important factors, and included a chart that conveyed pretty powerfully why San Francisco won out and who it’s top competitors were:

image via Cleantech Group's i3 Platform

Cleantech Group said it looked at a variety of factors when coming to its decision, including the number of cleantech companies that call the city home. According to Cleantech Group’s findings, San Francisco is home to 208 cleantech companies and investors. And expanding the view beyond the city limits, San Francisco Bay Area cleantech companies raised an estimated $12 billion in venture capital and accounted for 640 deals between 2006 and 2011. That is double the amount taking place in next closest metropolitan area, Boston, with the Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin and New Yorker further back.

Even more evidence of San Francisco’s cleantech strength: 11 companies in the Cleantech Group’s Global Cleantech 100 have locations in San Francisco, more than any other city. Those companies include:  Adura Technologies, AMEE, Harvest Power, Heliatek, Mission Motors, Nexant, OPower, Project Frog, RelayRides, SCIenergy and SunRun.

This is hardly the first evidence of San Francisco’s green cred; just last summer it was named the “most sustainable city” in a report from Siemens, which assessed and compared 27 large cities across the U.S. and Canada on environmental performance and policies. And of course, there’s the constantly growing list of EarthTechling stories tagged “San Francisco.”

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.