Clean Edge’s first U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index provides a ranking of how all 50 states compare across the spectrum of clean-energy technology, policy and capital.
And while West and East Coast states dominate the top 10 rankings, innovation and investment opportunities are found across the map in places such as Colorado, Iowa, Texas and Michigan.
According to Clean Edge’s assessment and ranking of more than 80 state-level indicators, the top three states are California, Oregon and Massachusetts. Washington, Colorado, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota and New Jersey round out the top 10.
Indicators include such metrics as total electricity produced by clean-energy sources, hybrid vehicles on the road, and clean-energy venture and patent activity.
“In this newly launched service we track more than 4,000 public and private data points across all 50 states,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge co-founder and managing director. “The industry needs to move beyond the days of using disaggregated and fragmented data to bolster subjective political claims about a state’s or region’s clean-tech prowess or as the basis of fundamental and significant business decisions. For the first time, Clean Edge is bringing timely clean-energy data and analysis under one roof, making this a critical tool for clean-tech decision makers within both the public and private sector.”
The Leadership Index paints an important and sometimes surprising picture of the U.S. clean-energy landscape.
California is No. 1 in overall clean-energy leadership by a wide margin, leveraging its history of technology innovation, rich bounty of natural renewable energy resources and investment capital, and consistently supportive government policies.
California leads in the technology and capital categories, but the No. 1 state for policy is Washington, just ahead of Massachusetts, which ranks first in regulations and mandates, and Illinois, the top state for incentives.
Iowa is the nation’s leader in utility-scale clean electricity generation as a percentage of total electricity, receiving more than 14 percent of its in-state generation in 2009 from wind power. No other state exceeded 10 percent electricity from large-scale, clean-energy sources.
California-based companies accounted for nearly 60 percent of all U.S. venture capital (VC) investments in clean energy in 2009, but Massachusetts led in VC investments per capita.
Michigan, with its recent focus on electric vehicle and automotive battery technologies, is the No. 1 state for clean-energy patents, a key indicator in the human and intellectual capital area of the Index’s capital category.
Construction of the U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index
The structure of the U.S. Clean Energy Leadership consists of four layers. The top layer, the Leadership Index, itself, is a set of 50 state scores that evaluate each state based on involvement and leadership in clean energy. Results of the top layer are derived from performance in three equally weighted categories: technology, policy, and capital. Each category is composed of two or three subcategories that include a set of individual indicators.
“To guarantee that smaller states aren’t put at a disadvantage, all quantitative indicators are adjusted for state size using metrics such as state population, state GDP, and electricity generation capacity,” said Trevor Winnie, Clean Edge senior analyst. “By reporting in terms of per capita or percent of state GDP, smaller and less populous states are not penalized for having relatively smaller economies.”
Deep Data Plus Analysis Equals Critical Intelligence
The U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index is a tool for regional comparative research, a source for aggregated industry data and a jumping-off point for deep, data-driven analysis of the U.S. clean-energy market. In addition to the annual report that includes report cards for all 50 states, subscribers receive quarterly insight reports that focus on the most important technology, policy and capital developments, and advisory services to help decision-makers sculpt their clean-energy strategies.
The subscription product is geared toward corporations, economic development agencies, investors, policymakers, technology innovators, foundations and other key stakeholders actively involved in the clean-tech marketplace.
Clean Edge leverages public and private data to generate each state’s leadership scores. Private data partners include Cleantech Group, R.L. Polk & Co., and Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. Public data sources include the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), Energy Star, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency among others.