North County’s rising cleantech industry

The clean technology industry produces processes, services and products that aim to reduce waste and provide much-needed relief to water and energy shortages. By using minimal to no non-renewable resources to operate, cleantech companies are leading the way in  sustainability and addressing issues such as air and water pollution, resource scarcity and global warming, among others.

Not only are the industry’s environmental initiatives proving to be pivotal for our planet’s wellbeing, they also support tremendous economic growth and provide promise to our local community. In San Diego County alone, the cleantech sector supports over 40,000 jobs and has an annual economic impact of $7.1 billion (Cleantech San Diego). 

As California aims to improve environmental sustainability across the state, North County San Diego is positioned to thrive. With the perfect mix of innovative cleantech startups, support from local municipalities and access to a skilled, homegrown talent pipeline, North County is leading the way in clean technology at a national scale. Scroll below for more on the industry in recognition of Earth Month.


Bluetech company Seatrec has recently moved to the City of Vista, fortifying North County’s cleantech industry portfolio. Founder and CEO Yi Chao shares, “We very much look forward to exploring greater San Diego County and collaborating with the community, city and local representatives to make Vista a world-class hub for bluetech and grow the ‘Blue Economy’.” The company designs and manufactures energy harvesting solutions that generate electricity from the ocean’s temperature differences that occur naturally. When and where there is a change in temperature in the ocean, Seatrec’s products convert that thermal energy into electricity. Applications include ocean energy stations, polar environmental research and oceanic robotics. These durable vessels make it possible for Seatrec to help other organizations optimize their environmental data capture through a more efficient and eco-friendly method. 

Another North County cleantech company that is harnessing the power of stored energy to promote sustainability is City of Escondido’s Aquacycl. The company has developed the BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology (BETT) system that selects natural bacteria to accelerate wastewater treatment, producing electricity and creating new molecular water. The BETT system is designed to be easily integrated into existing on-site water treatment systems for food and beverage establishments, military facilities, confined animal production farms or residential use. Aquacycl’s design provides their clients with a cost-efficient and accessible way to treat their wastewater, reducing the amount of sludge that is released back into our environment. 

MiraCosta College


Local cleantech companies like these don’t have to look far to source their talent. Local educational institutions like Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) and Oceanside-based MiraCosta College offer multiple programs that are shaping the region’s next cleantech industry leaders. CSUSM offers multiple programs such as Environmental Studies, Biological Sciences with an Ecology Concentration and a Sustainability Minor. These programs explore life on the ecosystem, population, organismal, and molecular levels, and provide students the opportunity to learn about sustainable development and climate change. MiraCosta College offers academic programs in Earth Science and Oceanography, which require interdisciplinary studies in astronomy and space science, climatology, geology, physical geography and ocean phenomenon. 

With the help of programs and companies like these, North County’s cleantech industry will continue to rapidly advance—bringing with it economic growth and positive environmental impact to the region and beyond.

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