When it comes to developing a clean energy economy, California is the clear leader, according to a report sponsored by the Portland Development Commission and Business Oregon. The most populous state ranked number one in almost every category mentioned in the report. Although the report touts Oregonís efforts to develop a clean energy economy (ranking in the top six in almost every category), California is the state that stands out.
Many states have developed renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS), and Californiaís is the most ambitious with 33 percent by 2020. Coloradoís RPS ranks number two with 30 percent by 2020, and Oregon ranks number three with 25 percent by 2025.
When it comes to clean energy capacity, California is in the top spot. During the first half of 2011, 2,151 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity were brought online, according to the American Wind Energy Association, a 72 percent increase from the first half of 2010. California added the most with 420 MW during the second quarter of last year, and Oregon came in second place with 201 MW.
Two other states rank high in wind capacity. Texas dominates in cumulative wind capacity with 10,085 MW installed through 2010, and Iowa leads the nation in wind as a share of total capacity with 25.2 percent of its peak capacity.
With Californiaís abundant sunshine, it come as little surprise that the state is home to almost half of the nationís solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.
California ranks first in total LEED-certified projects with 1,081 at the end of 2010. However, Oregon ranks number one in LEED-certified projects per capita, with 231 projects at the end of 2010.
It takes investment to develop a clean energy economy, and California leads the nation in attracting clean energy venture capital (VC) with over $8.6 billion through 2010. Massachusetts comes in second with $1.2 billion, and Colorado in third with $730 million.
One area that California does not rank number one is the annual number of clean energy patents granted in the U.S. Michigan is the leader with 1,024 total patents, followed by California with 720. From 2002 to 2010, the annual number of clean energy patents granted in the U.S. increased from 370 to 890 for a total of 4,377. The 890 patents granted in 2010 were an annual record, and an 80.5 percent increase from 2009.
Photo credit: Flickr user, ab9kt