Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

The Future of the Clean (Green) Economy

Author(s):

March 2014

Community Development Investment Review

Nothing is more daunting or dubious for investors, economists, and businesses than gauging the health and direction of the U.S. clean (“green”) economy. Is this a sector to “bank on”? Can it, will it, fuel the regional and national economy with substantial new investment, jobs, and business opportunities? The short answer is yes. But clarity on these questions is clouded by both the hype and unwarranted expectations of a substantial federal investment in the green economy in 2009, and a definitional challenge regarding the scope and nature of the green economy. This article describes the trends and job prospects in the clean economy, with an emphasis on the clean energy sector. Also highlighted are key issues and strategies for accelerating and meeting the growing demand and the opportunities to do this with the tools of community reinvestment community.

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