The United States, the world’s largest economy, has developed into an increasingly important component for Danish green technology export. The trend continued in 2017, where Danish export of green technology to the U.S. increased, while the export of green technology to Europe was decreasing. Assessing the political changes of 2018 and New York City’s progressive commitment to become the most sustainable big city in the world, 2019 is looking promising for Danish cleantech companies.
Clean energy forecast in the midterm elections aftermath
The U.S. mid-term elections resulted in a Democratic take-over of the House of Representatives. Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi Democrats seem determined to launch a new “better green deal” on climate change and other environmental issues, which have taken a back seat in light of Republicans’ deregulatory agenda. However, forces within the Democratic party are arguing for the more progressive stance that the country should commit to 100 % renewable electricity generation within a decade.
With a Congress mired in gridlock under the Trump Administration, which celebrated Thanksgiving by sweeping an alarming climate action progress port under the rug, it is more likely, however, that the clean energy efforts will be spearheaded by states and cities. The US Climate Alliance currently includes 17 states which have committed to delivering on the Paris Agreement. And, early December it was announced that Ohio became the 100th U.S. city to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2030-2035 (depending on the city), in a national campaign promoted by the influential non-profit, The Sierra Club.
Governor Cuomo Continues to drive New York’s environmental leadership
The two-term New York incumbent Andrew Cuomo was resoundingly reelected to a third term as governor of New York, winning 59% of the votes, which even improved his 2014 showing. His victory came as fellow democrats in Albany celebrated a wave of victories in the State Senate, regaining control of that chamber for just the third time in 50 years.
New York State continues to boast one of the nation’s most progressive Clean Energy Standards committed to the goal of securing 50% of the State’s consumption from renewable sources such as such as solar, wind, and hydro by 2030.
Off-shore wind plays an important piece in the new energy mix for New York, and the East Coast in general, which collectively has committed to produce 8GW by 2030. New York for its part signed up to this virtual East Coast race with a 2.4GW goal by 2030, enough to power 1.2 million homes. That decision has further catalyzed the decision to shut down Indian Point by 2021, one of New York’s four nuclear powerplants, attracting additional investment in clean energy
In New York City, the midterm elections offered a further Democratic boost, which included young rising candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio winning a congressional seat to become the youngest woman to join Congress, and Max Rose securing a Democratic victory on Staten Island, New York most conservative borough.
Mayor de Blasio is focused on delivering on the Paris Agreement, and the additional 1.5 C plan the city committed to, as the first one in the world, which includes alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The City’s 10-year development plan, OneNYC plan, works to deliver on the climate action goal of 80% emission reductions by 2050.
Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley
In the great West Coast vs East Coast battle to attract investment and talent to the tech world, New York continues to ramp up its “Silicon Alley” brand. While still dwarfed by Silicon Valley venture capital abundance, the Mid-Atlantic region, mainly driven by New York, came in 2nd with 20.4% of all venture capital deals in Q3 2018, against Silicon Valley’s 38.3%.
A genuine tech hub
Zeroing in on cleantech, or Urban Tech, as it is dubbed here, New York City has become a genuine hub. The City’s Economic Development Corporation continues to funnel investment into the growing ecosystem by creating more visibility, and opportunity, for investors and companies. As an example, in 2019 New York City’s urban tech sector will be centralized on one single website, and ecosystem, called The Grid.
New York City closed out the year with a big tech announcement with Amazon deciding to set up its second U.S. headquarters (split with Northern Virginia) creating 25,000 skilled tech jobs at $130,000 a year. The move solidifies the City’s position as a tech hub, where Amazon is joining other major job creators such as Google, Facebook, BNY Mellon, Capgemini, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.
Opportunities abound for Danish cleantech companies in New York
Danish Cleantech Hub, a joint initiative by The Confederation og Danish Industry and State of Green, is in a valuable position to help Danish companies benefit from New York’s consistent commitment to sustainability and climate adaptation. Imbedded in the New York ecosystem system since 2014, Danish Cleantech Hub enters 2019 with a variety of new business opportunities: Circular City Week (March 4-10) is an industry festival organized by Danish Cleantech Hub to boost the awareness of circular economy – a paradigm which Denmark is among the global frontrunners within.
As a second new initiative, Danish Cleantech Hub is part of Access Cities – a multi-city 2.5year program with the aim of testing out emerging, and proven, technology and solutions through a challenge and living lab based approach in New York, Munich, Singapore, Copenhagen and Aarhus.
In addition to that, Danish Cleantech Hub opens the new year as a partner in The Westchester water symposium (January 17), and later on with Word Water Day programming (March 22) through the water network NY Blue Tech co-founded by Danish Cleantech Hub.
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