Clean Energy Leaders: Which States Are On Top?

For the third year in a row, clean tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge released its “State Clean Energy Index,” a comprehensive evaluation of how the United States is doing with regard to renewable energy development. According to Clean Edge’s assessment and ranking of more than 70 different indicators in technology, policy and capital, the top 10 states in the nation this year are California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, New York, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, and Minnesota.

While Republican opposition has slowed — although not completely stymied — the Obama administration’s drive to clean energy push, many states are forging ahead with their own development agendas. According to the report, six states, twice as many as last year, now generate more than 10 percent of their utility-scale electricity from wind, solar, and/or geothermal; and the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards, along with Washington, D.C., account for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s total generating capacity.

cattle-shaded-solar

image via Independent Solar Developers

“The next decade will determine which nations, states, and cities lead in clean tech,” said Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick and our State Index provides critical insights on the dramatic shifts and best practices that are leading the way within the U.S.” Key market indicators tracked by Clean Edge include total electricity produced by clean-energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean-energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives.

While states like California, Oregon, and Colorado are frequently in the headlines for their large-scale clean energy projects and policies, some might be surprised to see states like Illinois, New Mexico, and Minnesota vying for attention. It’s good to see that as technologies like wind and solar become more affordable, these states are taking the opportunity to put their natural “resources” to work.

If you’d like to see how your own state stacks up, comprehensive data tables and individual state report cards can be viewed by downloading the free report here.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog