On Tuesday, June 2, CleanEdge, in association with Wells Fargo and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center among others, released its annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index. The Index uses a diverse set of industry indicators to rank all 50 states and the country’s 50 largest metro areas on their clean tech advances. It is meant to help drive comparative research and analyze the American clean energy market as a whole. The report gives state and metro overviews, but also ranks locations in specific subcategories such as capital, green buildings, advanced transportation, and carbon management. Read on for a few of the most exciting developments!
- In the State Index, California is ranked first for the sixth consecutive year, and in 2014 it became the first state to get 5% of its electricity from utility scale solar. Other states are also doing their part – last year, when hydro and biomass are included, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and South Dakota all exceeded 70% utility scale clean electricity generation.
- San Francisco ranked first in the Metro Index, but a look at the subcategories shows the geographic diversity in clean innovation. To provide a few examples, Washington, D.C. ranked first in LEED certified projects, Seattle ranked first in regional electricity mix, and in 2013 Raleigh had the lowest carbon emissions from large facilities in the country.
- Venture Capital investment in the industry is strong, with $5.5 billion in deals last year, a 28% uptick from 2013. California contributed half of total VC dollars, but states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, and Colorado all had over $30 invested per capita.
- State and metro differences aside, the entire country has made great strides in advancing clean technology. Last year, utility scale wind energy and solar power combined for 47% of U.S. generation capacity additions. This trend has continued into 2015, with wind and solar contributing 66% of new added capacity in the year’s first quarter.