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San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego Lead In Clean Energy

Environment

San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego Lead In Clean Energy

Clean Edge, Inc. yesterday released its seventh annual U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, which tracks and ranks the clean-energy and clean-tech activities of all 50 states and the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. The 2016 edition comes at a time of notable acceleration in the nation’s transition to a clean-energy economy.

The top 10 metros are San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Portland, OR, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Austin, and Chicago.

Top Ten Metro Areas

“Consistency is a theme among the metro areas leading the rankings of the 2016 Metro Clean Tech Leadership Index. The San Francisco Bay Area’s dominance continues into its fifth year: San Francisco and San Jose have finished in the top two for each year the Index has been run, with San Francisco leading the pack for the last four years. However, San Francisco’s lead has narrowed considerably, going from nearly 15 points in the 2014 Index to just 2.5 points in 2016. That being said, the two neighboring metros remain head and shoulders above the rest of the field, with #3 San Diego finishing more than 30 points behind San Jose” says the report.

The transition to a clean-energy economy over the past seven years is remarkable, with 14 states now exceeding 10% in-state generation from non-hydro renewables (up from just one state in 2010). The top three states (Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas) are at 31%, 25%, and 24% respectively.

Key report findings:

  • The transition to a clean-energy economy over the past seven years is remarkable, with 14 states now exceeding 10% renewable energy generation, and the top three states (Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas) at 31%, 25%, and 24% respectively.
  • In this year’s Index, California became the first state to generate 10% of its in-state electricity from utility-scale and distributed solar, with Hawaii not far behind at 7%.
  • Clean-energy deployment transcends politics. Among the Top 10 states for utility-scale clean-energy generation in our 2016 Index, half were red states during the last presidential election (Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota) and half were blue states (California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont).

One key factor for the transition is the aim of many states to pursue a reduction of carbon emissions. One of the biggest impacts, in terms of sheer scale, is the 50% by 2030 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandated in late 2015 by California, the world’s eighth-largest economy and the #1 state in the Index for seven straight years. During the year, California also became the first state to surpass one million registrations of hybrids and electric vehicles.

“This shift represents both the maturation of the clean-energy sector and a deployment landscape that transcends politics,” says Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick. “Among the Top 10 states for utility-scale clean-electricity generation in our 2016 Index, half were red states during the last presidential election (Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota) and half were blue states (California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont).”

Clean Edge, founded in 2000, is the world’s first research and advisory firm devoted to the clean-tech sector. The company benchmarks and tracks the clean-energy economy by delivering stock indexes, utility and consumer surveys, and regional (state and metro) leadership tracking.

Tech journalist, electric engineer. Based in Barcelona, covers international tech events, and Smart Cities.

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