The 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, which tracks clean tech activity through 70 state-based and 20 metro-based indicators, was recently released and California tops the State Index list for the fifth consecutive year with a leadership score of 93.7, a far cry from Massachusetts’ second place total of 79.4.
What might be a surprise to those not familiar with the San Diego region is that America’s Finest City jumped four spots to claim the No. 3 rank in 2014, behind only San Francisco in the No. 1 seat and San Jose in second place.
“We are extremely happy to see the San Diego region moving up in the ranks, but we aren’t surprised,” said Jason Anderson, president of CleanTECH San Diego. “We belong here. With California as our backdrop, state policies like AB 32 and Renewable Portfolio Standard goals have created a marketplace for clean technology innovation, and our region is taking full advantage of that. San Diego fares well with institutions like UC San Diego, SDG&E, the Port of San Diego, our military presence, and companies like Soitec, Sullivan Solar Power, car2go and many others who are at the cutting edge of the industry. But this is only the beginning. Through smart city initiatives, a robust startup community and regional leadership, we expect even more great things from our region.”
This was the first time California cities have swept the top three metro spots. With 66.3 points, San Diego ranked second in Clean Electricity and Carbon Management, fourth in Advanced Transportation, and sixth in Green Buildings and Clean Tech Investment, Innovation & Workforce, as it is home to more than 840 clean-tech-related companies.
California also claimed two other top-10 metro areas, with Sacramento taking fifth and Los Angeles seventh.
“The Golden State’s clean-tech prominence is broad and deep; it leads the technology category handily and ranks a very close second in both policy and capital,” the report states. “With enviable solar, wind and geothermal resources, a green-minded populace, and generally effective policy levers at every level of government, California places No. 1 in all three subcategories of clean technology deployment: electricity, transportation and energy efficiency/green buildings.”
Drilling down into specifics, San Diego ranks sixth in terms of LEED certified projects with 91.6 per million people, or 294 total, and takes the third spot for hybrid electric vehicles, with 19.98 per 1,000 people, or 58,646 total. Interestingly, the San Diego metro drops a bit to the 10th spot for electric vehicle charging stations with 51.7 per 1 million people, but 166 total, which would actually put it into the fourth metro slot based on sheer numbers.
On the innovation side, the San Diego metro area ranks ninth for clean energy patents granted between 2002-13 with 33 per 1 million people, or 106 total, and comes in fifth for clean tech venture capital investment, with $259.05 per capita invested between 2011 and 2013, which equates to $831.87 million total in 71 deals.