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Silicon Valley Revs Up Clean Tech Development

Silicon Valley is leading the charge to tackle climate change, according to a report released this week.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group unveiled a study detailing the latest findings showing that the valley has taken concrete steps to promote greenhouse gas emissions reductions, clean tech, energy efficiency and green building.

"In great Silicon Valley fashion our communities have moved to action on climate related issues but there is much more to be done," Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials and board chair of the Leadership Group, said in a statement this week. "This report touches on many of the most important business issues and environmental challenges we face today."

The Silicon Valley Projections 2008 study highlights 10 key examples of Silicon Valley action against climate change. For example, the group launched SolarTech to help the solar industry develop standards for products, installation, permitting, workforce development and contracting. More than 100 companies in the Bay Area are in some way involved with solar development, research or installation.

The study cites how its 15 group members that are determined to lower energy consumption by at least 24 million kilowatt hours. It also points to the partnership between BP, University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to head a $500 million biofuel research facility.

A dozen companies have made initial commitments to buy plug-in hybrid vehicles, while roughly 55 member companies are competing to cut solo work commutes through carpools, public transit, cycling and teleworking.

"Across the board our member companies, their employees, industry and government leaders, and community organizations are going clean and green," said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Leadership Group. "We have seen more engagement on these issues on a higher level than ever, and we project even more in 2008."

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