California heads the national rankings in clean energy leadership and performance by a substantial margin, according to the newly released U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index
. The Index, compiled and published by Clean Edge, a Portland, Oregon-based clean energy sector research and advisory firm, encompasses the assessment of more than 80 state-level indicators in the areas of clean energy technology, policy, and capital. California, with an index score of 91.6, holds a sizeable lead over second-place Oregon (68.6) and third-place Massachusetts (67.6), while the states of Washington (61.8) and Colorado (59.9) round out the top five.
Clean Edge computes these index scores by evaluating the aforementioned and equally weighted clean energy categories and their respective subsectors, including clean electricity, green regulations and mandates, and human and intellectual capital. In turn, these subsectors are broken down into individual indicators, which include such metrics as the number of hybrid vehicles on the road and clean energy patent activity.
California places first in the U.S. in the technology and capital sectors, while the state of Washington leads the nation in green policy. Meanwhile, California-based companies overwhelmingly lead the country in venture capital investments in clean energy in 2009. Other national leaders include Massachusetts in regulations and mandates as well as venture capital investments per capita, Illinois in incentives for clean energy, and Michigan in clean energy patents.