We've been on the fringes of the green movement in the San Joaquin Valley for awhile now, and we've seen firsthand its growth. Like most emerging economies, it is expanding at a stutter step rate - but it is growing.
More farmers are adding renewable energy to their operations, most commonly solar. Cities such as Tulare are embracing clean energy in big ways. Local property owners, schools and others are joining the movement, just as Big Business and the military are doing nationwide.
A just-released Brookings Institution study puts Fresno's green ranking at 57 out of 100 largest metro regions nationally, due in part to organic food and farming, and growth in biofuel and biomass. This is from the Fresno Business Journal.
Here's a link to the report itself. Stockton and Bakersfield also are included.
We believe that additional expansion is possible, even during a period of economic austerity. Dozens of solar projects are in various stages of development, and that industry could really pop if they come to fruition. University of California at Merced is so optimistic that it has unofficially labeled us as "Solar Valley."
Fresno's mid-state location, vast amount of land and minimal environmental issues work in our favor. Fresno also is home to Electronic Recyclers, one of the largest recycling companies in the nation - and which is planning a global expansion.
Coincidentally, the same Business Journal edition that highlights the Brookings report has a story on a possible expansion by Electronic Recyclers. Read it here.