California, Massachusetts and Oregon topped the ranking of U.S. states in terms of clean tech leadership, while three California cities – San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego – came out tops among U.S. metro areas, according to the latest edition of Clean Edge’s “2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index.”
Monitoring clean tech activities and conditions across all 50 U.S. states and the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, Clean Edge found that the improved performance and lower costs of clean technologies are prompting U.S. states and metro areas to tackle climate change head on.
“Climate disruption and the growing availability of market-competitive clean-energy technologies are driving many states and cities to tackle climate issues head-on,” Clean Edge founder and managing director Ron Pernick said in a news release.
“More than ever, this year’s Leadership Index highlights how some top regions are taking climate action seriously, with double-digit clean-energy adoption rates, new policies like California’s energy-storage mandate, and the deployment of clean-energy investment vehicles such as New York’s Green Bank.”
Tracking U.S. Clean tech leadership
Aiming to monitor clean tech activities and conditions nationwide, Clean Edge’s “U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index” takes a broad range of factors into account – “from EV (electric vehicle) and renewables adoption to patent and investment activity,” the Portland, Oregon-based company explains.
In its latest edition, Clean Edge highlights the growing role non-hydro renewable energy is playing in the U.S. energy mix.
“Eleven states now generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources, with two – Iowa and South Dakota – exceeding 25 percent.”
Clean Edge goes on to highlight that U.S. solar installations surged 40 percent year-over-year. EV registrations also jumped significantly, doubling between the 2013 and 2014 indexes to reach some 200,000 nationwide.
Clean Edge also highlighted the important role supportive government policies and initiatives are having in the U.S. renewable energy and clean tech sectors, both directly and indirectly, serving as guideposts that private-sector businesses, communities and individuals are increasingly leveraging and capitalizing on. Elaborating, Clean Edge senior editor Clint Wilder said:
“Net-zero building and energy-storage mandates and new public-private investment vehicles are just a few of the emerging policies that are dramatically shifting the energy landscape. While there have been some regional attacks against clean-tech supportive policies, such as net metering and renewable portfolio standards, for the most part, the clean-tech industry and its allies have successfully fought off such efforts.”
Top U.S. clean tech states and metro areas
Among U.S. states, California topped Clean Edge’s clean tech index rankings for the fifth consecutive year. Massachusetts and Oregon ranked second and third, respectively, for the second year running. Hawaii and Minnesota dropped out of the top 10, while Vermont and Connecticut moved up.
In Clean Edge’s Metro Index, San Francisco and San Jose repeated as the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. clean tech metro areas. San Diego vaulted four places higher to No. 3, giving California the three top spots and five of the top seven. Eight of the top 10 clean tech metro areas are in the top four U.S. clean tech states, Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas being the only exceptions.
Following are the top 10 U.S. states for clean tech according to the “2014 Clean Tech Leadership Index”:
- New York
- New Mexico
The top 10 leading clean tech metro areas are:
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- San Diego
- Portland, OR
- Los Angeles
- Washington, DC
A 49-page public version of the “2014 Clean Tech Leadership Index” is available free with registration on Clean Edge’s website.
*Images credit: Clean Edge