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A Comprehensive Look at America’s Clean Economy

Pay attention to the news and you probably already know that green jobs in general, and clean energy jobs in particular, are growing fast in the United States. The solar energy sector added jobs at nearly six times the rate of the rest of the economy in 2011-2012. The “green” or “clean” sector as a whole added more jobs during the recovery than jobs in any other sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But how does all this growth break down? Which states are leading the country in building a clean economy and why? Which states are lagging behind?

The Ecotech Institute just put together a comprehensive report looking at this question in the first quarter of 2013.  Here, in a series of maps and images, are the details:

The Clean Jobs Index

A composite index shows which states are currently most likely to embrace renewable energy. The Pacific Northwest leads overall.

Green Jobs

This map shows green jobs/100,000 people. South Dakota leads the country on a per capita basis, thanks in large part to the many people working in the state to “green” existing manufacturing operations. California has 22489 total green jobs–the most of any state. All told the U.S. had 750,000 openings for green jobs in Q1 2013, a sizable number given that the total job openings figure for that period was 11.1 million.

LEED Projects

This map shows the number of registered LEED building projects/100,000 people in each state. Maine is in the lead!

Energy Efficiency 

Here we have energy efficiency rankings by state. Massachussetts is #1 and California #2. (These rankings come from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.)

Net Metering

Net metering provides electricity consumers with more information about their energy usage, helping our dumb, one-way electricity grid into the vaunted smart-grid of the future. (Read more about it here.) This map shows the number of net metering customers/100,000 people. California’s lead is due in large part to forward-thinking policies and utilities. 

Total Energy Consumption

Here’s an interesting map: energy consumption/100,000 people. You might be wondering: what in the world are they doing out in Wyoming? The answer: they’re mining lots and lots of coal. The same is true (although you might substitute gas or oil for coal) for the other high energy consumption states, like the Dakotas. Extractive industries consume a lot of energy.

Alternative Vehicle Fueling Stations

Last, but not least, here are how our states breakdown in terms of the availability of alternative vehicle fueling stations per 1,000 people. This includes a large range of fuels, such as biodiesel, hydrogen, and electricity. On electricity in particular, California is paving the way to the future.

And to sum it all up…

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