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“When it comes to clean technology innovation, the world looks to San Diego, and our thriving algae technology industry is no exception. With top scientists conducting cutting-edge research at UC San Diego and business leaders like Sapphire Energy, Cellana and Synthetic Genomics continuing to innovate, San Diego's algae market will only continue to flourish.”

Jean Fuller, Senate Republican Leader
Mar 1, 2016

A pioneer in renewable energy, San Diego’s clean technology cluster is second to none. San Diego is one of the nation’s top locations for research and development in engineering, life sciences, and biotechnology, which are critical to the success of the cleantech cluster. Another key strength lies in San Diego’s partnership with its neighbor to the east, Imperial County, which provides cost-effective facilities for companies that are ready for production and commercialization. This combination of intellectual and physical capital makes the region one of the most competitive landscapes in the country for cleantech companies.
In 2017, the region ranked #4 in the nation for cleantech leadership.1 Continued growth in markets such as solar, wind, energy efficiency, storage, and electric vehicles has elevated San Diego as a leader in the climate action and smart cities movements. With a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and collaboration that includes everything from technology companies and academia to local government and the military, San Diego continues to lead in the development and adoption of clean technologies.

Industry Highlights & Contributions

  • Go solar: San Diego ranks #2 in the nation for solar installations, with more than 303 megawatts of installed solar capacity - enough to power the equivalent of nearly 76,000 homes.2
  • On-site generation: San Diego ranks #8 in the nation for clean power production, with more than 51 million kilowatt-hours annually.3
  • Smart SD: Smart Cities Summit named San Diego’s Smart City Solutions one of the world’s top 10 smart city projects.4   

Key Companies 


Center for Sustainable Energy

CCSE is an independent nonprofit that helps residents, businesses, and public agencies save energy, reduce grid demand, and generate their own power through a variety of rebate, technical assistance, and education programs.

Cleantech San Diego

Cleantech San Diego is a member-based trade organization that positions the greater San Diego region as a global leader in the cleantech economy and smart cities movement. 

Energy Policy Initiatives Center

EPIC is a nonprofit academic and research center of the University of San Diego School of Law that studies energy policy issues affecting San Diego and California. 

San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology
Cal-CAB incorporates the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, economics and policy to train young scientists, educate the public, collaborate with private sector partners and facilitate discussion with regional, state and national policy makers regarding the use of algae for energy independence and conservation of land and water.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest, largest, and the world’s preeminent center for ocean and earth research, teaching, and public education.


1. Clean Edge, “2016 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index”, 2017 2. Environment California Research & Policy Center, “Shining Cities 2017: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America”, 2017 3. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Green Power Partnership Top 30 On-site Generation,” 2018 4. Cleantech San Diego, “The World’s Top 10 Smart City Projects”, 2015