And according to a series of studies, the sector is due for substantial growth -- or could be depending on friendly legislation, according to a series of studies.
Here are a couple of stories offering anecdotal evidence of that green surge. Tony Illia of the Las Vegas Business Press does a good job showing the connection clean energy and green practices have to saving money and providing value in a battered economy in his story "Green's monstrous growth."
The gist of the story is perhaps best reflected in a quote Illia got from McGraw-Hill Construction Vice President Harvey Bernstein, who said, "Green growth is phenomenal across the globe. The expansion of green products and services will have a long-term impact on our future economy and ability to build green."
He also quoted Rick Van Diepen, 2010 president of the Nevada chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, as saying, "Developers and owners are seeing the value in green building as a competitive differentiator. The bottom-line decisions are becoming paramount in terms of lowering operating costs."
We've heard the same from Loren Aiton, board president of U.S. Green Building Council Central California, who says building green pays for itself and is relatively cheap on the front end. He said LEED certification adds 4 percent to 5 percent to construction cost and a little more if you go to the ultimate platinum level, but the building's efficiency pedigree speaks for itself in the marketplace for buyers and renters. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and has become an industry standard for energy efficiency and green building practices.
Another round-up of green energy activity comes from online news service sierra2thesea.com in the story, "Tulare & Kings Counties Going From Nada Watts To Mega Watts."
The Central San Joaquin Valley, sierra2thesea founder John Lindt offers, "is suddenly ground zero for the solar transformation of California." His story lists a range of projects: "Tulare County has attracted 13 applications for special use permits mostly 20 megawatts." Kings County has potential projects from 20 to 5,000 megawatts.
We'll be watching closely.
Photo: Kern Schools Federal Credit Union in Bakersfield, among the first LEED certified buildings in the Central San Joaquin Valley, courtesy USGBC CC.