Everything you could possibly want to know about clean technology in the Golden State can be found in an excellent new report, the California Green Innovation Index, published by Next 10, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. The report tracks the state’s economic and environmental performance and analyzes key indicators to better understand the role green innovation plays in reducing emissions and growing the economy.
California is a state where growth has always been built around innovation, as this figure from the report shows:
I’ve often written about California’s leadership policies in energy efficiency — but the report points out a number of fascinating factoids I wasn’t aware of:
- California emits fewer GHG emissions per capita than Germany, the United Kingdom, or Japan.
- California’s per capita GHG emissions are less than one-half the rest of the nation and are lower than they were 15 years ago. Among states, only Rhode Island emits fewer GHG emissions per capita than California.
- California inventors account for 44 percent of total US patents for solar and 37 percent of total U.S. patents for wind technology. The state attracted 36% of total venture capital investment in clean energy.
- Since 1990, green business establishments in the state have grown by 84 percent and employment has doubled.
- From 2000-2005, registrations of alternative fuel vehicles (not including Flex Fuel Vehicles or FFV) increased 1800 percent.
- Per capita petroleum consumption in California has fallen consistently since 1989 and is now below 1970 levels
The message is clear: You can be a low-carbon economy and a still be a high-tech, job-creating economy.