California and New York top states for clean tech leadership

Reading time: 5 minutes
4 June 2015

NEW YORK: Three of The Climate Group's States & Regions members are among the US states listed in a new index of clean tech leaders.

The annual 'US Clean Tech Leadership Index' released by Clean Edge ranks the clean tech activities of all US states and cities.

California sets the bar for the sixth consecutive year as number one leader in the Index’s Technology and Capital categories and tops the Policy category over second-place Massachusetts. The other top five states ranked in 2014 – Oregon, Colorado and New York – held the same place again this year.

Although the same states held the top five positions, 6-10 showed notable movement, as Vermont and Connecticut jumped three places to sixth and seventh place, Illinois held eighth place for the third year in row, Washington fell two spots to ninth, and Hawaii moved up two places to number 10 in the clean tech ranking.

“When it comes to developing clean tech markets, analyses like the US Clean Tech Leadership Index are showing that state policies really matter. And it's not only large states like California and New York that are seeing results, but smaller states like Connecticut and Vermont, who are benefiting from innovative clean tech finance policy. As energy policy in the US increasingly shifts to states and cities, comparative information like this becomes very important in figuring out what's working and what's getting results,” says The Climate Group’s Head of US Policy Evan Juska.

The states' leadership on renewables related activities represents a changing energy landscape of the United States. Solar and wind power, along with natural gas and energy efficiency, are now becoming mainstream resources for meeting US electricity needs.

Last year, 47% of the nation’s new generation capacity came from utility-scale wind and solar power, and 11 states now generate 10-20% of electricity from non-hydro renewable energy sources.

The rapid clean tech progress made by these US sub-national governments is also influencing the broader international community - California and New York are both represented as members of The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, a coalition of sub-national governments from all over the world committed to setting high standards for impactful global climate action.

As cities, states and nations continue to set bold renewable energy goals, such as California’s 50% target by 2030 and Hawaii’s 100% target by 2045, tracking data and comparative performance is becoming increasingly essential. 

The Clean Edge analysis also includes a 'Metro Index' which ranks the San Francisco Bay Area as the number 1 nexus of clean-tech leadership in the US for the third year in a row, just before Golden State neighbor San Jose in second place, Portland in third followed by San Diego in fourth with Washington in seventh.

While these cities and states have made significant strides towards a clean energy-powered future, there is more progress to be made in the near future, especially ahead of the UN’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris this December.

To help call for greater ambition in the lead up to Paris, The Climate Group is convening influential leaders at specific moments over the next six months, with the next being the G7 meeting this weekend.

We're asking you, our network of business, government and public climate action supporters, to join our mass-tweet to tell the G7 to lead by example and encourage all nations to submit ambitious INDCs that will create a robust global climate deal – and a strong clean tech based future – in two easy steps:

  1. Sign up to our mass tweet, or 'HeadTalker', here.
  2. Ask your networks to sign up by copying and sharing one of the below tweets:

Read more about The Climate Group's States & Regions program


By Lindsey Chew

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