Boulder is the Center of a Cleantech Revolution

I previously wrote in my newsletter, Energy Hedge, that the Boulder area was a center of cleantech. Well, that was before I visited. I just spent a week in Boulder, speaking at an energy conference on green, meeting with grad students and business faculty at the University of Colorado, and spending a morning with a cleantech vc who only invests in Colorado-based companies. People out here are very cognizant of environmental issues particularly when it comes to energy and water. In previous years at the conference which I attended, they had a biodiesel school bus which was the old yellow school Bus. This time around they had a new one which I assume was state of the art for urban biodiesel use.
I have seen the energy and environmental future and it is not Silicon Valley. It is Boulder, Colorado. It is the first city to deploy the Smart Grid with Excel Energy and Gridpoint. The human resources here are amazing. The University has interdisciplinary programs and leading research on alternative energy and cleantech through a variety of institutes and programs. Boulder is home to ENCAR and NOAA, the leading agencies on climate change research. Down the road in Golden is the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) which is getting a big boost in its budget due to the Obama Administration. The Governor is supportive of green tech. There is formalized tech transfer with the business community and academia. This list goes on and on, but more importantly, it is the energy of the entrepreneurs in the region. There are many startups in biotech but that is now shifting to clean energy as well.
The bottom line is that the Front Range as it is called is now a mecca for research and commercialization of green tech. And just down the road is the country’s second largest oil and gas center in Denver. Once the Denverites smell the green they will start turning into a transformative engine as well. The stage is now set for the green economic engine to rise. Green jobs are real and alive in Colorado!

Peter Fusaro