Somebody sent me this.
Oregon Looks to Clean Tech for Revival
The Oregon Business Development Department’s network of about 45 economic-development officials has more than doubled the time spent reaching out to clean-tech companies since 2008, said Bruce Laird, clean-tech recruitment officer in the department.
As a result, Oregon’s incentives for attracting clean-tech firms — those that make alternative energy or energy-efficient products — are among the most aggressive in the nation. The state’s business energy tax credit funds 50% of a renewable-energy manufacturing facility’s cost, up to a total credit of $20 million per project. That dwarfs similar incentives in states such as Hawaii, which caps credits at $2 million, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. From 2006 to mid-2009, Oregon spent $386 million on tax credits for clean-tech companies, according to the state Energy Department.
According to a recent Pew study, Oregon had 19,000 clean-tech jobs in 2007, up 50% from 1998. About one of every 100 workers in Oregon works in the clean-tech industry, the largest percentage in the nation.
This is an instructive example of targeting an industry. Here are a couple of observations:
1. It’s going to be tough to compete in this space with states like Oregon. They issued $386 million in tax credits in three years. Adjusted for population, that would be like New Brunswick issuing $100 million in tax credits – to one industry.
2. They have doubled their clean tech industry employment in 10 years. That’s the kind of target we need for growth sectors in New Brunswick.
3. If you read the full article you will see many examples of multinational firms attracted to the state. We must be able to attract anchor firms into our targeted growth industries.
4. This case study made the Wall Street Journal. I am not that ambitious but I think if New Brunswick is successful in building growth sectors – it will get noticed. When was the last time we had a story in the national press about a specific growth sector that is booming in New Brunswick? I read stories about tax cuts, forestry problems, Bernard Lord’s political future, etc. but I can’t remember the last time the national press picked up on a specific sector growth strategy. I will say there have been several energy hub stories in the national press but most of them were forward looking (new refinery, second nuclear plant, energy corridor) not a backward evaluation of a success story.