Portland, Oregon, December 7, 2010 — With the arrival of the newly elected 112th Congress, the likelihood of any significant progress on a focused federal clean-energy strategy in the U.S. is doubtful — and that’s not good news for the U.S. in its leadership battle with China, Japan, Germany, and other nations in this increasingly critical global industry.
But against this uncertain federal landscape, U.S. states continue to lead the charge in driving clean-energy innovation and advancing the clean-energy economy. Clean Edge’s first annual U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index, announced, 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 different state-level indicators, the top three states in the nation 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,” says Clean Edge cofounder and managing director Ron Pernick. “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 with highlights such as:
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 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 distinct layers. The top layer, the Leadership Index itself, is a set of 50 state scores, which 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 of these categories is composed of two or three subcategories, which themselves include a set of individual indicators.
“In order 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,” says Clean Edge senior analyst Trevor Winnie. “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 + Analysis = 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, policy makers, 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, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Energy Information Administration, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.