About Climate Prosperity
Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Climate Prosperity Program unites local governments, businesses and institutions in defining and deploying initiatives that address the long range environmental challenges facing our region and our world.
What are we doing?
Climate Prosperity maintains that the pressing problem of environmental sustainability and climate change can be solved while at the same time enhancing our quality of life, building new 'green' industries, creating new classes of jobs, and growing the economy.
The program’s chartering document, Climate Prosperity: A Greenprint for Silicon Valley, put in place a framework and governing body for related regional initiatives focused on advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean convenient transportation, and sustainable infrastructure. Three key initiatives, outlined below, have comprised the Climate Prosperity Program.
The Smart Energy Enterprise Development Initiative (SEEDZ) focused on building the ‘smart energy’ network of the future here in Silicon Valley – demonstrating and delivering leading power performance and sustainability benefits on a commercially based, community-wide scale.
In Silicon Valley, energy use in the commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors generates nearly 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Smart energy advancements in vehicle electrification, commercial and industrial energy efficiency, and effective integration of renewable energy into the power grid have the potential to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our region – and ultimately the world.
SEEDZ involved many leading Silicon Valley corporate energy customers, solution providers, municipalities, institutions and utility interests. The goals of the SEEDZ initiative were to:
- reduce local GHG emissions via expanded use of clean/distributed energy sources and increased electrification of transportation.
- implement new capabilities for efficient utilization of grid energy assets, improved reliability and affordability.
- provide global market expansion and brand enhancement for Silicon Valley companies developing and/or deploying smart energy solutions.
- attract smart energy-related technology companies, investment and research funding as a development/deployment hub.
- serve as a replicable model for other communities.
Upon the launch of the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority in 2016, the SEEDZ program was retired and its work was distributed to the authority and elsewhere within Joint Venture, including the EV Infrastructure Group, which is now part of our Mobility suite of initiatives.
The Public Sector Climate Task Force includes representatives from over 50 Silicon Valley cities, towns and counties, plus several special districts and other public agencies. The Task Force meets quarterly to collaborate on climate solutions and to learn from each other, and from outside experts, about climate protection programs. The group also includes advisory members from local organizations working on sustainability and energy conservation, and several affiliate members from for-profit companies in relevant sectors. The Task Force aims to:
- accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions by public agencies.
- use demand aggregation to conserve scarce public resources.
- encourage and support the growth of the clean technology industry.
- provide leadership for the region and the world.
This group has been realigned to our Resilience portfolio.
The Silicon Valley Collaborative Renewable Energy Procurement Project (SV-REP) was launched in partnership with the County of Santa Clara. The goal of the project was to expand and accelerate deployment of solar energy systems at municipal buildings and facilities in the area. SV-REP was a complex multi-agency procurement effort for renewable energy systems on public agency facilities, and the largest project of its kind in the country. Through SV-REP, over 11 megawatts of solar power has been installed at locations throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including city halls, fire and police stations, libraries, and community centers.
Subsequently, the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement (R-REP) project was established, modeled after the successful SV-REP. R-REP, a collaboration between 19 local public agencies, was led by the County of Alameda with Joint Venture and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership acting as the convening organizations. Technical Advisors include Optony Inc. and Newcomb Anderson McCormick, and KNN Public Finance has been engaged by the County as the Financial Consultant. The project installed over 13 megawatts of renewable energy throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties as of 2016, with another 9.8 megawatts currently bid.
The REP projects have been effective in addressing three of the major challenges regarding public sector adoption of renewable energy in an era of diminished financial resources. These include high upfront costs associated with the purchase and installation of renewable energy technologies, the considerable transaction costs involved in conducting competitive bid processes and developing power purchase agreements, and the general lack of understanding of financing options and available incentives.
Why have we established the Climate Prosperity program?
Population growth and expanding resource demands are placing extreme pressure on global ecosystem, manifested in climate change and other major environmental challenges. Progressive governments and organizations around world are working to combat these issues. The State of California, for instance, has established aggressive emissions reduction targets and renewable portfolio standards. Yet much work remains to be done to meet these goals at a local level – and to do so in a way that supports economic growth and other societal benefits.
Silicon Valley has emerged as a leader in clean technology innovation. Supportive public policies, private sector leadership, the venture capital community, research programs and a talented workforce are well-suited for meeting the global climate challenge.
The Climate Prosperity Program aims to accelerate adoption of programs and technologies that reduce our impacts on the environment while benefiting society and the economy. Representative examples of Climate Prosperity include:
- More energy-efficient homes and cars mean a cleaner environment, less money spent on energy and more disposable income in the community;
- Adding solar and other renewable energy sources to the grid reduces air pollution and GHG emissions, stimulates the regional economy, and generates long-term savings;
- More sustainable and energy efficient buildings create new jobs for construction workers, energy auditors, efficiency monitoring tools, network installers, and manufacturers of products such as temperature sensors and building components;
- Electrification of transportation and development of transportation alternatives reduce our use of fossil fuels, clean up the air, and have important lifestyle and health benefits;
- Livable, walkable, sustainable communities are more appealing to a new generation of talent we are looking to attract to our region;
- Progress on all these fronts helps California achieve its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.
The Climate Prosperity Program has been supported by the member organizations of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and a broad range of regional stakeholders have participated in the program’s key initiatives.
To learn more about the program, please contact: