Alternative energy companies form united front 

David R. Baker of San Francisco Chronicle In the debate over our energy future, solar, wind and electric car companies don’t speak in a single, unified voice. Tom Steyer and Hemant Taneja want to change that.

They have formed an organization, called Advanced Energy Economy, that the two hope will grow into a nationwide chamber of commerce for alternative energy companies. The organization, which they will formally announce today, already has state and regional chapters representing 700 companies.

“There is no business voice for advanced energy, and there has to be,” said Steyer, founder of the Farallon Capital Management hedge fund in San Francisco. “There has to be on a local level, and there has to be on a national level.”

The organization will promote the growth of American alternative energy companies and technologies at a time of intense global competition to dominate this young industry. For membership, Advanced Energy Economy will cast a wide net, including nuclear power companies as well as businesses that create energy-efficient buildings.

Several national groups, such as Environmental Entrepreneurs and the American Sustainable Business Council, already pursue similar missions. Wind power has its own nationwide trade association, as does solar. Northern California, the nation’s premier clean-tech hub, boasts business organizations such as the San Francisco Bay Area Green Chamber of Commerce.

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