“The pulse of clean tech in the U.S. is undeniably urban. As the industry expands and competition heats up, these metro areas will increasingly compete against one another (and against cities around the world) to capture the clean-tech opportunity. [Source]“
Inspecting the largest 50 metropolitan areas, Clean Edge’s Metro Clean Tech Index models an analysis of the clean tech industry in the United States. The study aggregates data from across the industry and deeply examines the performance of regions in the market and, alongside the State Clean Energy Index, gives invaluable access of information to corporations, innovators, policy makers and other industry stakeholders. Using a 100 point ranking system, four core performance silos are utilised (green buildings, advanced transportation, clean electricity & carbon management and clean-tech investment, innovation, & workforce – see graphic below) which all help to determine which metro areas are championing smart growth and displaying themselves as examples of innovative urban planning.
To some, clean tech seems very much a rural centric notion with wind turbines, wave power and large solar farms plotted across desert land. But urban areas are hubs of innovation and centres of breakthrough technologies. So much so that Clean Edge have managed to break those main four categories down into sub-indicators:
Individual indicators, which are used to create the four category scores, track a broad range of activities including green building deployment, clean vehicles in use, advanced transportation infrastructure, public transportation ridership, regional electricity mix, GHG emissions, venture capital investment, clean energy patents, and clean economy jobs, among other things. [Source]
So which cities are championing Clean Tech?
The West Coast is, unsurprisingly, teeming with clean tech activity of the highest order; San Jose with the illustrious Silicon Valley in its arsenal taking the top spot; San Francisco (in 2nd) boasting one of the cleanest energy grids on the planet and LEED-certified buildings aplenty; and Portland (in 3rd) with the largest green energy purchasing program and the highest clustering of LEED developments in the country. Let this not disguise the fact that the Midwest and Northeast are also driving forward clean tech growth in the States too, coming from various large metro regions: Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.