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18 April 2024

'Green' firms vow to heal economy


Firms devoted to clean energy and other "green technology" promise to revive a Silicon Valley economy sagging beneath a global financial meltdown and the US mortgage disaster, a report said.

Home foreclosures, economic instability, and year-end job losses have cast a pall over the northern California computer technology region that is home to firms such as Intel, Apple, Google and Yahoo!.

Employment in Silicon Valley slipped 1.3 per cent in November and per capita income eroded, decreasing nearly one per cent, said a report by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network.

Meanwhile, investment in clean technology has climbed 94 per cent since 2005 and employment in the sector has risen 23 per cent during the same years, it said.

Overall venture capital investments in Silicon Valley dropped 7.7 per cent in 2008, breaking an upward trend started in 2005.

"Our economic challenges are greater than they have been in years," said Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock. "At the same time, we have become a magnet for green innovation and a new epicentre for solar technology. New technologies in this sector may help offset the Valley's economic woes."