A recent report released by Next 10, an independent organization that educates and empowers Californians to improve the state’s quality of life, celebrates California as the leading state in the country in regards to developing clean energy and promoting green technology.
If California was regarded as an independent nation, it would rank among the top five in the world for energy productivity, renewable energy sources, and reductions in carbon intensity.
According to Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry, “One of the important increases in improvement we’ve seen over the years is the amount of renewable energy California is creating.”
The eighth annual edition of the California Green Innovation Index is made up of data compiled by the Los Angeles-based research firm Beacon Economics. It gives California a stellar rating for solar generation, energy, and electricity efficiencies as well as growth in clean technology investments.
According to the report, solar energy generation in California has skyrocketed over the past five years, increasing by 1,378%. Just last year, the total megawatts of solar energy in residential buildings increased 65%.
California installed more megawatts of photo-voltaic solar than any other state in the country last year. In fact, 20.1% of California’s total energy generation comes from renewable sources, which is three times the national average.
Another section of the report laid out the gross domestic product and greenhouse gas emissions per capita between 1990 and 2014, showing that during that period of time, California experienced an increase in population and economy and a 36% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per GDP. In other words, Perry explained that the figures highlighted in the report indicate a “decoupling” between carbon emissions and the state’s economic growth.
“I think it shows you can grow the economy and reduce emissions at the same time,” Perry said.
The index also reported that California had registered more clean technology patents than any other state, including patents for energy storage, green materials, biofuels, and more.
In response, Perry said, “That tells us that California is the center for innovation related to coming up with difference products and services that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the creation of new companies.”
Of course, not all of the improvements in California are related to advancements in technology. Californians have proven to be dedicated to conserving energy in any way they can. A typical family in the U.S. spends about one-third of its annual heating and cooling budget on air that leaks into our out of the house through gaps and cracks. By keeping up with regular home maintenance, Californians and families across the country can reduce energy costs and work towards energy conservation as a whole.