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Against an uncertain federal landscape, the U.S. continues to lead the charge in driving clean energy innovation and advancing the clean energy economy, according to Clean Edge's U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index.

The index provides analysis and ranking of how all 50 states compare across the spectrum of clean energy technology, policy and capital.

Although West Coast and East Coast states dominate the top-10 rankings, innovation and investment opportunities are found across the map in places such as Colorado, Iowa, Texas and Michigan.

According to Clean Edge's assessment and ranking of more than 80 different state-level indicators, the top-three states in the nation are California, Oregon and Massachusetts. Washington, Colorado, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota and New Jersey round out the top 10. Indicators include such metrics as total electricity produced by clean energy sources, hybrid vehicles on the road, and clean energy venture and patent activity.

California is No.1 in overall clean energy leadership by a wide margin, leveraging its history of technology innovation, rich bounty of natural renewable energy resources and investment capital, and consistently supportive government policies, according to Clean Edge.

In addition, the No. 1 state for policy is Washington - just ahead of Massachusetts, which ranks first in regulations and mandates, and Illinois, the top state for incentives;

Iowa is the nation's leader in utility-scale clean electricity generation as a percentage of total electricity, receiving more than 14% of its in-state generation in 2009 from wind power. No other state exceeded 10% electricity from large-scale Clean energy sources.

California-based companies accounted for nearly 60% of all U.S. venture capital (VC) investments in clean energy in 2009, but Massachusetts led in VC investments per capita.

SOURCE: Clean Edge

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