When the independent nonprofit group Next 10 recently released the 2012 California Green Innovation Index put together by Collaborative Economics, they knew it was time to show off. And well, they did have the reasons: California leads the way in venture capital investment, patent registration of clean technology and how much green energy they produce.
And that’s not all: a surprising fact, that deserves to be mentioned before everything, is that the carbon emissions level actually decreased while the number of inhabitants increased. An example the index gives us is the status prior to 2009: 28% less harmful emissions compared to 1990, for an 8-million population growth.
Being the first state to take on green energy measures, California is now reaping its benefits: the year 2011 marked an impressive 1,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity, putting the US on top of the “green nations” list. These 1,000 megawatts were achieved through 24% more investments in green tech companies, which totals $3.5 billion from 2010 to 2011. Last year, California invested $1.2 billion, more than half of the total US venture capital funding.
Also, in the period of 2008 – 2010, the state registered 910 cleantech patents, out of which 41% were solar patents and 21% battery ones. According to Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry, these patents, together with venture capital investment, suggest positive future growth: California’s cleaner economy triggers a national overall raise.