Oregon hangs on to No. 2 for clean energy leadership

Clean Edge Inc. released its third annual clean energy leadership index. Oregon retained its No. 2 spot.

Clean Edge Inc. released its third annual clean energy leadership index. Oregon retained its No. 2 spot.

Clean Edge Inc. released its third annual Clean Energy Leadership Index Wednesday, showing Oregon again in second place behind California.

The index tracks more than 70 industry indicators divided into three basic categories — technology, policy and capital, including its financial, intellectual and human forms — to determine which states are best positioned to lead when it comes to clean energy industries.

While the top five states — California, followed by Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado — haven't changed in the three years that Portland-based Clean Edge has been producing the index report, individual states are morphing and overall trends are notable.

Oregon's score was 79.9, up just a tad from last year's score of 79.4. Meanwhile California dipped slightly from 95.3 in 2011 to this year's score of 91.1. And No. 3 Massachusetts is nipping at Oregon's heels with a score of 76.1, up from 61.8 two years ago.

The report's authors attribute Oregon's sustained success to "unwavering consumer-driven demand" for clean energy options and cleantech-related products and services.

Oregon's strong participation in green power programs, and its high per-capita ownership of hybrid vehicles and concentration of LEED-certified buildings, all factors into its second-place finish.

The Clean Edge analysis also turned up some notable nationwide trends, including:

  • Six states, double last year's tally, got more than 10 percent of their utility-scale electricity from wind solar and/or geothermal generation.
  • The number of registered hybrid cars in the U.S. grew to nearly 2 million. All-electric vehicles inched up on the 50,000 registered-vehicle milestone.
  • Patents for clean energy innovations granted to U.S. organizations in 2011 exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time.


"Against the backdrop of partisan attacks and general inaction within Congress, the state-level scene shows a diversity that crosses political boundaries and regions," said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge's managing director, in a press release.

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