As Nation Moves Toward Renewables And Efficiency, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, And New York Are Top States In Clean Tech Leadership

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Connecticut, Vermont, and Hawaii Move Up in Clean Edge’s Leadership Index; San Francisco, San Jose, Portland, San Diego, and Washington DC Lead Among Metros

2015 Top 10 States

Eleven states now generate more than 10% of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources

Clean Edge, a clean-tech research and indexing firm, today released its annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index which tracks and ranks the clean-tech activities of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. – from EV and renewables adoption to patent and investment activity. A free downloadable summary report is available at

The United States is experiencing a significant shift in its energy landscape. Last year, utility-scale wind and solar power combined for 47% of new U.S. generation capacity. Based on this expansion, 11 states now generate more than 10% of their electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources, with three of these states – Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas – exceeding 20%. When including hydropower, four states – Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and South Dakota – now exceed 70% renewables generation. Last year, California became the first state in the nation to garner 5% of its electricity from utility-scale solar.

“As cities, states, and nations announce ambitious renewable energy goals, such as California’s 50% target by 2030, and Hawaii’s 100% target by 2045, tracking data and comparative performance is critical,” says Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick. “We aim to provide transparency and insights as the market moves towards the goal of a low-carbon, and even zero-carbon, economy.”

State Index Results
California leads all states in the Index by a wide margin for the sixth consecutive year. The Golden State, #1 in the Technology and Capital categories and #2 in Policy, slightly upped its overall score lead over second-place Massachusetts. The rest of the top five states in last year’s Index – Oregon, Colorado, and New York – repeated their respective rankings from 2014.

Places six through 10, however, showed some notable movement from last year. Fellow New England states Vermont and Connecticut each jumped three places to #6 and #7, respectively. Illinois held steady at #8 for the third straight year, but Washington fell two spots to ninth, its third consecutive yearly drop since ranking #4 in 2012. Hawaii moved up two places to rejoin the top 10. The Aloha State has climbed in the ranks significantly since ranking 19th back in 2010.

Metro Index Results
As has been the case since Clean Edge’s first Metro Index in 2012, the San Francisco Bay Area remains the nexus of clean-tech leadership in the U.S. The San Francisco metro area is #1 in the Index for the third straight year with southern neighbor San Jose in second place. San Francisco’s nearly 15-point lead a year ago shrunk to about six points, with an overall score of 86.5 to San Jose’s 80.6. But both remained well ahead of #3 Portland at 59.7.

San Diego dropped from third to fourth this year while Los Angeles rose from #7 to #6. But Sacramento, ranking #5 in 2014, dropped out of the top 10 to #12 this year and Denver (10th last year) also fell off the leaderboard to 11th. Seattle, out of the top 10 last year for the first time, rebounded to place seventh. Tenth-place Chicago joins the top 10 for the first time after placing 12th in each of the first three years of the Index.

About the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index
Sponsors of the 2015 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index include lead partner Wells Fargo and supporting partners District Department of the Environment (Washington DC), Energy Foundation, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and Portland Development Commission. In addition to publicly available datasets and Clean Edge-derived indicators, Clean Edge leverages data from private data partners including Cleantech Group, EQ Research, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., and IHS Automotive.

The U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index includes more than 100 indicators comprised of approximately 17,000 data cells. The complete state and metro datasets are only available to Index subscribers. For information on partnership packages contact Bryce Yonker, Clean Edge Director of Business Development, at 503-206-8448 or yonker(at)cleanedge(dot)com.

About Clean Edge
Clean Edge, Inc., founded in 2000, is the world’s first research and advisory firm devoted to the clean-tech sector. The company offers a suite of benchmarking services, including clean-energy stock indexes with NASDAQ, the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index ranking states and metro regions, and other indexes tracking utilities, companies, and consumers. The company advises corporates, governments, and NGOs working to advance a clean-energy economy. Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick and senior editor Clint Wilder are coauthors of two business books, The Clean Tech Revolution (HarperCollins, 2007) and Clean Tech Nation (HarperCollins, 2012). To keep abreast of the latest clean-tech trends and learn more about Clean Edge, visit and follow us on Twitter @CleanEdgeInc

Artwork and tables from the report are available to the media upon request.

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