The pursuit of renewables and energy efficiency continues in the United States. While the new federal administration may be more interested in fossil fuels, states and cities lead the way toward an energy industry supported by clean technology.
According to the 2017 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, two states have maintained their leading position. The eighth annual report published this spring by clean-energy analyst Clean Edge Inc., shows California and Massachusetts holding the top spots again as they have for several years. California has held the number one spot all eight years the report has been published. Massachusetts has been second to California for the last five years.
Rounding out the top 10 in descending order are Vermont, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota and Hawaii.
The Clean Tech Industry Index tracks activity based on a diverse set of underlying industry indicators. It ranks activity for all 50 states and 50 of the largest metro areas. The states are weighted according to their performance in the categories of technology, policy and capital. Technology measures deployment in such areas as clean energy, clean transportation and green buildings. Policy addresses regulations, mandates and incentives. Capital includes financial as well as human and intellectual capital.
For its part, the report notes that California received more than 27,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of utility-scale and distributed solar power alone in 2016. That’s more than five times the amount generated in Arizona, the state with the second-most solar production. California also has more than 1.2 million registered electric and hybrid vehicles, and it was the beneficiary of more than $9.5 billion in clean-tech venture capital in the last three years.
Not surprisingly, At the metro level, several California cities also top the list. The top 10 cities are San Francisco, San Jose, Washington D.C., San Diego, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Austin.
Cities are measured according to their performance in the categories of green buildings; advanced transportation; climate and carbon management; and clean-tech investment, innovation and workforce.