By Jake Emerson, Context China
Washington state is home to innovative clean tech companies as well as traditional companies making great strides in renewable energy. Both were highlighted at the Washington Clean Technology Alliance annual meeting in Seattle Nov. 15. As these firms expand globally, China will continue to be a huge market, particularly with the country’s energy needs and development plan to move millions of people from rural areas to cities over the next 15 years.
Among the local players, WCTA President Tom Ranken recognized Helion Energy, a company working to use fusion to generate power; and Phytelligence, a company that creates plantlets that have a shortened time between planting and fruit production, as two Washington clean tech companies that will be representing the state in the Cleantech Open, a training program and awards competition for startups, held in Silicon Valley.
As a traditional large manufacturer, Boeing is striving to make its operations greener. Terry Mutter, Boeing’s director of strategic management, described the company’s renewable achievements: namely reducing CO2 emissions by 9 percent, energy by 3 percent and water by 2 percent, while simultaneously increasing production by 50 percent.
Having a truly green building can help many companies reduce energy use, but that requires paying substantial upfront costs. Many companies still find this a difficult proposition. Representatives from Puget Sound Energy, the City of Seattle, McKinstry and Skanska addressed those challenges in a panel discussion on the green built environment.