Smart Energy is an industry poised for significant growth because of growing demands for "premium power" (electricity free from fluctuations and interruptions), aging existing infrastructure, and the industry's movement towards distributed generation. Seattle and the Pacific Northwest have significant advantages in the Smart Energy because of its research institutions, established transmission and distribution expertise, existing technology infrastructure, and the environmental consciousness of local communities and businesses.
The Smart Energy sector in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada, is estimated to encompass more than 225 companies with revenues in excess of $1.9 billion plus another $150 million in research and development funding.
Seattle has established itself as a global center for Sustainable Building. This is an emerging industry focused on the design and construction of buildings that are water and energy efficient, minimize waste, maximize use of recycled materials, create healthy indoor environments for workers, employ resource-efficient materials, and incorporate environmentally sensitive site planning.
Seattle has more LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified professionals than any other city in the country. The City has determined that the growth of the sustainable building industry in Seattle is linked to the high concentration of local expertise, service, and materials providers, which represent a significant source for current and future jobs.