- A new report finds California to be at or near the top of several energy categories, including renewable energy production, efficiency and energy expenses, Clean Technica reports.
- Next 10, a nonpartisan nonprofit, commissioned the study as a part of its Compare50 project, which ranks states against each other in 150 categories.
- The report, prepared by Beacon Economics, found California ranks among the lowest in the nation for both per capita energy consumption and per capita energy spending.
California has a history of investing in energy efficiency and clean power, and that shows in Next 10's report on the state's energy economy.
“Californians are among the most efficient energy users in the nation on a per-capita basis,” F. Noel Perry, founder of the group, said in a statement. “The state is continuing to build on its already robust renewable energy production, while creating a more diversified energy portfolio that will help the state meet its landmark emission reduction targets."
With the largest population and economy in the country, California ranks near the top in commercial, residential, industrial, and transportation energy consumption and expenditures. But per capita energy consumption remains low, which Next 10 credits to the state's "legacy of innovative public policies ... along with energy rates that are higher than the national average."
CleanTechnica points out that its low per-capita energy use is also directly related to the state's mild climate, with the lower need for heating and cooling giving it an edge.
The state leads the nation in renewable energy production, though it drops to second when large hydropower is included (Washington takes the top slot). But Next 10 also notes the state is a large producer of fossil fuels, which keeps its economy "better insulated from the effects of falling oil prices than states with economies that are more dependent on the industry, such as North Dakota or Texas."
California has about 490,000 solar projects in the state, the most in the country, and almost 3,900 MW of installed solar capacity.