Clean Technology Sector

Wind turbines generate clean energy in the Palouse region of Washington State

Governor Inslee’s top priority is to create an economic climate where innovation and entrepreneurship can continue to thrive and create well-paying jobs in every corner of our state. To support this priority, the Washington Clean Technology sector is working with a variety of industries to provide technologies and related production processes that will improve their environmental and business performance.

Clean Tech Industry Defined

Clean Tech spans many industrial sectors and represents a wide range of manufacturing processes, services and products. All of these comprise what is known as the Clean Technology sector. Consumer products produced in the Clean Tech sector provide greater value to the consumer at a lower environmental cost. Each industrial sector will likely express its own set of environmental performance objectives. If these objectives are significantly greater than previous processes, or if the product or service represents a significant improvement over previous production methods, then these products would likely qualify for reference in the Clean Tech sector.

For example, clean tech in the electric utility industry can include a technology that allows utilities to purchase or re-sell more electrical power from renewable sources. This would include grid scale batteries and system controllers, as well as the software that allows the integrated units to capture and deliver electrical energy generated from renewable sources as well. This means that the solar or wind units would be considered in the clean tech industry as well as the batteries, controllers and associated software.

Impacts of clean tech contributions to industry:

The clean tech industry in the state of Washington employs nearly 90,000 workers and is backed by more than a billion dollars in venture capital. These companies are supported by world-class research institutions including the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

These companies are poised to make a significant contribution to the worldwide demand for cleaner industrial processes. Important trade and industry organizations include the Washington Clean Technology Alliance, Washington Technology Industry Association and Northwest Energy Efficiency Council.

Washington's Clean Tech sector snapshot

  • 100+ companies, possessing 195 patents serving more than 12 different industrial sectors
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    Public support for Washington's Clean Tech sector

    Washington State has a big stake in the future of renewable and clean energy. The state’s legislature mandated that 15 percent of Washington’s electricity come from new energy sources, including wind, tidal, biomass, biofuel and solar. This has led to significant private-sector investment in next-generation technologies in the Clean Tech sector.

    To attract investment, the state offers businesses a range of incentives, including:

  • Business and occupation tax reductions for manufacturers of solar energy systems
  • Components or semiconductor materials
  • Sales and tax exemptions for semiconductor gases and chemical purchases
  • Sales and tax credits for equipment that generates electricity using renewable energy
  • Business and occupation tax credit and sales tax exemption for forest-derived biomass harvesters
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    New ideas are encouraged at all levels, from the use of real-time mathematical and computer computational science to improve power grid management and control and the use of algae to create energy efficient fuel sources to tidal power generators and more efficient solar production capabilities.

    Are you interested in business opportunities in Washington's clean technology industry? Visit ChooseWashington.com to learn more.

    Key Sectors

    Sector Strategy

    New companies are welcome

    If you’re a company exploring or producing next generation clean energy products, materials, concepts or services come to Washington State. Our culture of innovation offers you dynamic partnerships with other high performing companies, a workforce of highly skilled clean technology workers, a pro-business environment that embraces companies that want to change the world with new energy sources and a stunning natural environment that will inspire you to create and succeed in exploring and producing new energy for the country and the world. To learn more, contact one of our clean tech experts today. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you how choosing Washington could be the best business decision you could ever make.


    Brian Young

    Director of Economic Development for the Clean Technology Sector

    Brian Young brings diverse strategic and operational experience to his role as Governor Inslee’s Clean Technology Sector Lead. He is the point of contact for clean technology companies who want to navigate Washington State's political and economic landscape. He is focused on developing a prosperous and varied clean tech sector based on the state’s existing strengths.


    Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Brian worked in a variety of clean tech industries. After serving as an officer in the United States Navy, he joined an early stage biofuel start-up that grew into Imperium Renewables, the largest independent US biodiesel producer. After Imperium, Brian created Element Strategic Partners, a clean tech consultancy that led the development of the Washington Clean Energy Leadership Council and worked internationally on sustainability and carbon issues.  In 2011, he became a business development manager for a Tri-Cities engineering firm working on nuclear remediation efforts at Hanford and elsewhere within the Department of Energy complex. Brian graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs.  In the winter, you can find him on the slopes at Alpental, where he is a member of the Volunteer Ski Patrol.


    Need help?

    Brian Young
    Clean Technology Sector Lead
    brian.young@commerce.wa.gov
    Phone: 206-256-6129

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