Los Angeles has officially joined the race to become the nation’s leading clean technology hub. The first step, announced yesterday, is to become the nation’s “cleanest” and “greenest” city.
Under a plan announced earlier by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, thecity will partner with the California Institute of Technology(Caltech), the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and theUniversity of Southern California (USC) to achieve this goal, accordingto reports in the Los Angeles Times.
Villaraigosa’s State of the City speech earlier this week emphasized the city’s interest in attracting companies that focus on green technologies like solar, wind, battery and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
With the support from the three universities, the city would bepositioned to compete for hundreds of thousands of federal dollars forclean technology research and a proposed state institute to studyclimate change. The CleanTech LA Alliance,which includes the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los AngelesBusiness Council and Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.,represented a “giant leap forward in our effort to make this city theglobal capital of clean technology.”
The mayor has set the goal of drawing 20 percent of the city’selectrical power from renewable energy by 2010. In addition, themayor’s office has been working with the Community Redevelopment Agencyto transform a four-mile (6.4- kilometer) industrial stretch — alongthe Los Angeles River east of downtown — into an incubator forclean-technology companies.
Officials said the partnership stemmed from the city’s intent tocompete for a possible California climate change institute. A versionof the climate change center proposal was approved by the stateLegislature last year but vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whosaid the legislation was “too limiting and too premature.” Itsultimate fate remains uncertain.