What is the Green Innovation Index?

California’s clean economy sector is diversifying and advancing according to new data highlighted in the 2013 California Green Innovation Index. Next 10's fifth edition of the Index reveals new data about clean tech patents, investment levels, energy productivity levels, state GDP relative to greenhouse gas emissions, California's clean economy jobs and more.

Green Innovation Index 2013 Report Cover

Look Inside

The Carbon Economy

California is a leader among states and other countries in reducing carbon emissions while boosting the economy. California ranks among the most efficient and least carbon intensive economies in the world.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions in California continued to fall from their 2008 peak, dropping 1.4 percent since 2009 and seven percent in the last five years.
  • Emissions per capita maintained their downward trend in 2010, dropping nearly 10 percent in the past five years, highlighting California’s progress in becoming more carbon efficient while increasing economic output.
  • California continues to move in the direction of a carbon free economy with a 29 percent decrease in emissions per dollar of GDP since 1990, and a four percent decrease in the last five years alone.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per person both declined over the last five years, with emissions achieving even greater reductions at a 10 percent drop.

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Total California Greenhouse Gas Emissions

ghg emissions

GDP & Emissions

ghg and gdp

The Carbon Economy

carbon economy

VMT & Emissions

vmt and emissions

Energy Efficiency

At the forefront of energy efficiency policy and business activity since the 1970s, California has achieved improvements in energy efficiency while growing the economy.

  • Energy productivity measures the GDP produced (output) for each unit of energy consumed (input). California created 1.7 times as much economic activity as the rest of the U.S. with the same amount of energy in 2010, a three percent improvement in the past five years.
  • California’s energy consumption per person has decreased substantially over the long term, falling nine percent in the last five years alone. California achieved a 24 percent reduction since 1970, compared to a three percent reduction in the rest of the U.S.

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Energy Productivity


Energy Consumption Relative to 1970 Per Capita

energy consumption

Renewable Energy

Working toward the Renewable Portfolio Standard goal of 33 percent of electricity generation by 2020, renewable energy installations and generation in the state continue to surpass previous year records.

  • Renewable electricity generation reached new levels with 14.5 percent of total electricity generation in 2011, three times the percentage of the U.S. as a whole. California renewable electricity has increased 3.8 percentage points in the last five years.
  • California installed a record level of solar power in 2012, with over three times more new solar installations compared to 2008.

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Energy Generation from Renewable Sources


New Solar Installations in California


Clean Technology Innovation

California continues to lead clean technology innovation, with its companies receiving the most investment and patents in the nation and world. This innovation, along with progressive policies, drives the state’s progress in implementing clean technology products and services.

  • Clean technology venture capital declined in 2012, though investment in California declined less than the U.S. or World since 2008 and remains above pre-2008 levels.
  • California leads the nation in clean technology patent registrations, achieving the highest or second highest amount compared to other states in all segments. California registered twice as many clean technology patents compared to five years ago.

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Venture Capital Investment in Clean Technology

vc investment

California Clean Technology Patents: 2010-2011

patent table

Clean Economy Jobs

California’s policies, investments, and consumer habits are driving growth in the clean economy, creating jobs in businesses that keep the state on the leading edge of a more efficient and competitive economy.

  • California’s Core Clean Economy had a stronger recovery than the California economy as a whole from the recent economic crisis, with a 2.8 percent increase in employment compared to 2.3 percent decrease in the total employment between January 2008 and January 2011. The total economy rebounded recently, up two percent since January 2010, while the Core Clean Economy increased about one percent.

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California Employment Growth Relative to 2001


California Employment by Clean Economy Segment

employment by clean segment