Technology

Sacramento is said to help drive state’s rapidly growing clean-tech economy

Solar panels on the roof at KB HomeÂ's Double ZeroHouse 3.0 in El Dorado Hills on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Solar panels on the roof at KB HomeÂ's Double ZeroHouse 3.0 in El Dorado Hills on Tuesday, September 30, 2014. rbenton@sacbee.com

Solar energy generation and adoption of zero-emission vehicles are surging throughout California, and the Sacramento area is contributing significantly to that clean-tech momentum, according to a new report by Next 10, the San Francisco nonprofit that promotes growth of California’s clean economy and evaluates various state issues.

Next 10’s eighth annual California Green Innovation Index said statewide solar generation has exploded by 1,378 percent in just five years; ZEV registrations have increased 244 percent in just two years.

Much of the rest of the nation is following our lead.

F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10

Among the report’s findings:

▪ California ranks fourth worldwide in the share of electricity generated from renewable sources.

▪ The Golden State installed a nation-leading 3,266 megawatts of solar power in 2015, bringing its total to 13,243 megawatts.

▪ In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics were available, there were 118,801 zero-emission vehicles registered in California, up from 34,547 in 2012.

▪ California had 4,052 clean-technology patent registrations in 2015, while the rest of the nation had 15,044 registrations. California’s total was far ahead of No. 2 New York (1,215) and No. 3 Texas (1,172).

“California is not only the fourth-most energy productive economy in the world, the state also leads in key clean-tech indicators, like clean-tech patents and investment. Much of the rest of the nation is following our lead,” said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10.

The report said clean energy “hot spots” have taken root across California, not just in traditional innovation hubs.

Among 26 state regions covered in the report, the Sacramento area ranked fifth for clean-tech innovation, with 125 clean-tech patents registered in 2015.

The area ranked sixth in clean-vehicle rebates, with more than 500 per 1 million persons in 2015.

Next 10 said the Sacramento area ranked seventh for residential solar capacity, 11th for commercial solar capacity and 15th for industrial solar capacity. Sacramento ranked 23rd per million residents in commercial and industrial solar capacity and 21st in residential solar capacity per 1 million residents.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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