California Leads Clean Energy Derby

Wind turbines in Solano County. (Photo: Craig Miller)

A new ranking of clean energy development in the US has California well out in front, with Oregon running a distant second.

Clean Edge, which describes itself as “the world’s first research and advisory firm devoted to the clean-tech sector,” has released its “first annual U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index.” Massachusetts, Washington, and Colorado round out the top five. The firm, which has offices in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, says it used 80 indicators and 4,000 individual data points to calculate the rankings, including numbers of alternative-fuel vehicles and the flow of clean-tech venture capital, as well as the states’ portion of electricity generated from carbon-free sources.

As Todd Woody points out in his post for Reuters, the rankings may furrow brows in a couple of Midwestern states that have been showing some leadership in specific areas. Iowa, for example, is ahead of California in the wind energy race.

Also this week, Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources said it had reached a settlement with regulators and environmental groups to replace more than 2,000 older wind turbines in California’s Altamont Pass, to reduce the number of bird fatalities. The new turbines, while much larger, spin at slower speeds and provide fewer places for birds to nest.