2014 California Green Innovation Index

This year’s sixth edition of the California Green Innovation Index provides data that show California’s policies have helped create a foundation for innovation and removed early barriers to consumer demand.

As good policy stimulates both innovation and investment to create new clean technology products and services, consumers are then able to respond with increased demand, thus sustaining a long-term virtuous market growth cycle. Innovation is a key component to growing the sector, and is an iterative process that occurs throughout market development. When consumer demand rises, investors and businesses perceive more opportunity in the market, which prompts development of technology, lowers prices and subsequently increases consumer demand. Building on California’s past success, the state’s next increment of smart policy can accelerate this market cycle dramatically.

The progress made in California’s clean technology market shows that a clean economy is not just about a single technology, company, or policy. As the report shows, new investors are emerging, private sector businesses are maturing, technologies are advancing, and policies are driving the state forward. By growing its clean technology economy, California demonstrates that economic prosperity and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive concepts.

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  • California’s overall renewable generation grew 56 percent between 2002 and 2012 and the state reached a new high in its renewable electricity share in 2012, producing 15.4 percent of total electricity generation, about three times the percentage of the U.S. as a whole
  • California’s state electricity bill share of GDP was 0.47 percentage points less than Texas in 2012, which can be attributed to the state’s nation-leading energy efficiency profile
  • California is among the most efficient, least carbon-intensive economies in the world, with per capita greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 17 percent since 1990
  • Between 2011 and 2012, registrations of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) increased 62 percent between 2011 and 2012 to a total of about 34,500
  • California’s overall clean economy continues to create new jobs and business opportunities across diverse sectors, ranging from water efficiency and recycling to energy and battery technologies. Between January 2002 and January 2012, employment in California’s Core Clean Economy jumped 20 percent to reach nearly 196,000. During the same time period, jobs in the larger overall state economy grew by two percent


  • The San Joaquin Valley ranked second in total distributed solar installations through CSI in the state, with nearly 240 MW installed through 2013
  • The Inland Empire saw the highest growth in clean economy employment over the last decade (+57% to 13,700), with the fastest growth in the Energy Infrastructure (+28%) sector between January 2011 and 2012
  • The San Diego Region experienced the second fastest growth in distributed solar installations through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) between 2012 and 2013 (+11%), and had a total of about 137 MW installed between 2007 and 2013
  • Orange County Area saw the fastest growth in plug-in hybrid vehicles, with nearly 13 times more registrations in 2012 than 2011. Zero emission vehicles increased 93 percent over the same time to reach a total of about 3,800 zero emissions vehicles in 2012
  • The Los Angeles Area is the top region in hybrid systems patents and wind patents in 2012-2013, and the second highest overall in the state for clean technology patents (242). The Los Angeles region would rank sixth in the nation for patent registrations if it were a state
  • The Sacramento Area had the fastest rate of clean economy job growth in 2011-2012, at five percent
  • The San Francisco Bay Area is tops for clean economy jobs and patent registrations