Study Finds Clean-Energy Leaders

Clean Edge released its second annual U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index. The index provides an analysis and ranking of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum.

The key market indicators that Clean Edge tracked include total electricity produced by clean-energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean-energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives. The top 10 states in the nation are California, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont. Also, based on this analysis, the bottom 10 states are Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and West Virginia.

The index produced some detailed results. For example, three states now generate more than 10 percent of their utility-scale electricity from wind, solar and/or geothermal. Iowa leads the nation with 15.4 percent of its electricity now generated from wind power, followed by North Dakota (11.99 percent from wind) and California (10.06 percent from wind, solar and geothermal).

In addition, top-ranked California’s long-time commitment to clean energy has put the state far ahead of the pack in terms of technology deployment and capital creation. The state’s burgeoning clean-energy industry brings in more venture capital than all other states combined.

Idaho leads the United States in clean electricity as a percentage of its total generation—at 84 percent—when including hydro and biomass sources. Other states that get more than 60 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, including hydro and biomass, are Washington (71.59 percent), South Dakota (65 percent) and Oregon (63.84 percent).

According to Clean Edge, Mississippi is aggressively pursuing clean-tech manufacturing. In the past year, the state has attracted a host of clean-tech companies to build manufacturing facilities and plants there, demonstrating that even low-ranking states are beginning to aggressively target clean-tech companies and services.

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