California continues to dominate the development of renewable energy based on key indicators such as technology, policy and capital, according to the CleanEdge US Clean Tech Leadership Index published today.
“A gridlocked Congress, presidential election-year politics, panic over the so-called fiscal cliff, and continued fallout from high-profile bankruptcies like Solyndra and A123 Systems resulted in yet another year of little significant progress on federal clean-energy policy,” the report says. “Yet despite these negative factors, clean-tech deployment in the US showed notable, and even historic, market momentum during the year.”
Ron Pernick, the report’s author said: “The biggest trend is around deployment. Renewables are becoming mainstream if you look at added capacity to the nation’s electricity grid, for the first time ever 49% of that came from renewables. Two years ago, there were around six states getting 10% of electricity from renewables now we’ve got two states getting more than 22%.”
Spurred by continued price drops and financial innovation, solar had its second straight banner growth year. Installed PV capacity grew by 3,313MW or 76%, with California becoming the first state to install more than 1,000MW in a single year, the report noted.
“Solar is still such a small fraction of overall penetration, but it’s growing rapidly,” Pernick told PV-Tech. “Wind is getting a bit saturated in some states and the exciting thing for solar is that it’s where wind was about a decade ago in terms of its deployment cycle. Solar could see those double digit growth rates that we saw in wind for the last decade. There’s a lot of room here for the US to get from less than 2% solar to 10% solar.”
For the fourth consecutive year, California took the top place in its leadership role for clean electricity deployment, energy efficiency, policy innovation and investment attraction.
Read more: PV-Tech California leads clean-tech index for fourth year